EXISTING supply of rice, both commercial and government, in the province is good for 54 days, the top official of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental said.
NFA-Negros Occidental provincial manager Frisco Canoy said Monday, January 21, that based on their latest rice inventory, there are 947,600 bags of commercial rice stored by millers, wholesalers, retailers, and households in the province.
With Negros Occidental's average consumption requirement of 20,600 bags per day, the commercial rice stocks can only last for 46 days if it solely feed Negrenses.
Canoy said the remaining inventory of 177,455 bags accounts for the P27 per kilogram government rice stored at NFA warehouses and distributed among local traders and retailers.
The figure is comprised of 159,739 bags of imported rice from Myanmar, 6,000 bags from Vietnam, and 11,716 bags from Thailand.
"The 6,000 bags from Vietnam actually form part of the 79,000 bags which arrived in the province on the latter part of last month, while 11,716 bags are the remaining buffer from Thailand importation in November last year," he said, stressing that "we can only account as actual inventory those that are already unloaded and received at the warehouses."
If the NFA will have to supply the entire consumption requirement, the stocks are only good for almost nine days.
However, its participation in the entire consumption is only up to 10 percent so it may last for about 86 days, or more than two months.
The unloading of 159,739 bags of rice from Myanmar via MV Tan Binh 79 was completed last Saturday, January 19. Actually, the shipped stocks totaled to 160,000 bags but some are considered bad order stocks thus, these were rejected.
Just a day after its arrival on December 29, another 79,000 bags from Vietnam were shipped in the province via MV Han Binh 16.
Since the start of unloading over the weekend, only 6,000 bags were already unloaded.
Canoy said the unloading of the recent importation, the last two import allocation for Negros Occidental for 2018, is affected by the bad weather.
He said the vessel is covered and it cannot be open especially when raining as stocks might be damaged if wet.
"Based on our contract, the supplier has the responsibility to ensure the quality of the stocks from vessel to pile," Canoy said, adding that "we will not accept bad order stocks."
If all import allocation will be unloaded, normally within eight days under normal circumstance, the province will actually have a total of 239,000 bags of imported rice from Myanmar and Vietnam on top of the 11,716 bags from earlier importation from Thailand.
Given these buffer, NFA-Negros Occidental assured that it can serve the needs of the province in the next few months though there is no advice yet as to the province's import allocation for 2019, the inventory may still increase through incoming supply from other provinces and impending harvests this year.