The inventory of both commercial and government rice in Negros Occidental is only good for 30 days but the upcoming harvest and expected import allocation will boost supply by October, according to the National Food Authority (NFA).
NFA-Negros Occidental provincial manager Frisco Canoy said as of Sunday, stocks are “safe and very sufficient” until the harvest peaks and the imported rice supply arrives.
“Within 30 days, we expect to have our import allocation,” he said, adding that when harvest peaks next month, there will also be additional rice supply.
Canoy said rice traders may also have incoming stocks as they start to buy from other provinces.
The total rice inventory in Negros Occidental reached 618,000 bags, of which, about 16,000 bags are government rice stored in the NFA warehouses.
At least 600,000 bags account for commercial rice stocked by millers, wholesalers, retailers, and households.
With an average daily consumption of 20,600 bags, the existing rice supply in the province will last for only a month.
Canoy said NFA rice in the province only accounts for 10 percent of consumption while commercial rice has 90 percent consumption share.
“If we are going to distribute all our stocks, it will take us only two weeks to do it. We will stretch our remaining 16,000 bags until our importation arrives,” he added.
The first imported rice allocation for Negros Occidental this year, totaling 80,000 bags from Thailand, arrived in July.
An additional importation of 6.5 metric tons or 130,000 bags will follow, but there is no arrival schedule yet.
Canoy said despite the current limited volume of the government’s P27 per kilogram rice, the NFA is ensuring that its warehouses will not be empty until buffer stocks are available.
Since the NFA has food security requirement and has to provide rice supply in times of calamities, its stocks should not be totally sold, he added.PNA