By Mark L. Garcia
Bacolod City – The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office reported Wednesday that its rice stocks for Negros Occidental is down to 10,000 bags and will continue to drop in the coming weeks.
The agency’s rice supply might be dwindling, but there are about 1.3 million bags of commercial rice, good enough for 60 days, said NFA Provincial Director Marianito Bejemino.
In an interview, Bejemino said that if the supply of regular milled NFA rice drops to 4,000 to 5,000 bags it will be forced to allocate it for emergency situations like existence of calamities and disasters.
“When we reach the 5,000 bags mark, we will stock the supply only for emergency purposes,” he said.
When that happens, NFA will not be retailing rice until imported rice arrives by June.
Bejemino said the current stocks are much lower than in previous years. In 2017, NFA stocks were estimated at 100,000 bags.
The remaining rice stocks in the province are regular-milled, and well-milled rice is already unavailable.
Bejemino said NFA rice is still being sold at P27 per kilo.
He said the next imported rice shipment is not expected until early June because it still has to go through a bidding.
The usual bidders are from Vietnam, Thailand, India, and sometimes China, he said.