A total of 239,000 bags of imported rice from Myanmar and Vietnam are now being unloaded at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City, and the supply is expected to meet the rice needs of Negrenses this first quarter of 2019, National Food Authority Provincial Manager, Frisco Canoy, said yesterday.
Canoy told the DAILY STAR that 160,000 bags of rice came from Myanmar and transported by marine vessel Tan Binh 79, and 79,000 bags from Vietnam, through the MV Han Binh 16.
Both vessels are docked at the Bredco Port and NFA is already unloading the first 160,000 bags. Canoy said about 20,000 bags are already unloaded and transferred to the agency’s warehouses in Bacolod.
The bags contained well-milled rice and 25 percent broken and will be sold at the standard P27 per kilo in all NFA retail stores in Negros Occidental.
Last month, 100,000 bags from Thailand also arrived in Negros, and Canoy said there are 40,000 bags left from this supply. The additional 239,000 bags would be enough to ensure a sufficient supply in the first three months of 2019, he added.
Before the arrival of rice from Myanmar and Vietnam, the NFA has been distributing 140 bags in major markets of Bacolod and 80 bags for markets outside the capital city per week, and Canoy said the distribution might increase with the new supply.
The NFA plans to distribute the remaining 40,000 bags stocked in the warehouse to make space for more supplies, he added.
The 239,000 new stocks will be initially stored at the two warehouses of NFA in Bacolod, and will be transferred to the other warehouse in San Carlos City and in Ilog town through the contracted trucking service of the agency’s provincial office, Canoy also said.
He said they might add 10 more layers to their standard stocking in the rice warehouse in Bacolod to accommodate the new supply being unloaded from the port, adding that usually they stock the rice bags into 25 layers but this will now increase to 35.
Canoy also said that on an average, they can unload 15,000 bags a day. With this, the unloading from the two vessels might take 15 to 16 days.
The new imported rice supply will add up to the existing commercial rice supply sold in markets, which the NFA projected to last up to 42 days.
Canoy said the new supply could further stabilize rice prices in the market, given that they are now adhering to the suggested retail price as mandated by the Department of Agriculture.*
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