Current rice inventory for the province of Negros Occidental stood at a high of 2.2 million that will last for three months, National Food Authority provincial manager Marianito Bejemino said.
Bejemino said the high volume of inventory reflects the ample supply due to increased production last year and the previous years. Negros Occidental posted the lowest importation for the last 17 years last year with only a boat load of imported rice.
He said the inventory figure is comprised of 981,227 from the commercial which composed of retailers, wholesalers and millers and 880,532 and 356,267 from household and government stocks respectively.
He said that the provincial importation has decreased and there exists a certain degree of sufficiency, but since rice is a staple commodity, thus fluent, this means that whenever it is not used or consumed by a certain area, it will go to the areas where it is needed.
Rice importation is being planned and decided by the economic and agricultural managers of the government to fill the gap between production and consumption. The sufficiency of an area usually does not represent the whole as there are places and provinces that are in deficit or have been stricken with calamity, he said.
He said that, early on, the agency had kept monitoring the movement of the supply most especially during the lean months for an early placement of order from local and international producers.
“We first check on the local production and the need because if our farmers can supply for the deficit, then we don't have to import from other countries”, he said, adding that the surplus from the previous year was added to the following year.
He also said that, because of the ample supply of rice in the market, there is no movement in the price. Fancy or special rice steadied between P55 to P65, premium rice at P43 TO P46, WMR- P40 to P46 and RMR- P28 to P36 per kilo.
For the wholesale price there is a P1 discount for every kilo of WMR and RMR, P2 for the premium and P5 for fancy rice, Bejemino added.*
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