DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 October) – Davao Region will get some 20,000 metric tons of rice out of the 250,000 metric tons that the National Food Authority (NFA) has imported from Vietnam and Thailand.
Speaking in Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw, Edegary Roncal said the importation of more rice supply will augment their buffer stock to ensure sufficient supply in the market after 60 percent of the region’s rice production was damaged by El Niño.
“A few months back, our crops had been severely damaged due to drought. Because of that, we expect a decrease in the volume of production of our local farmers. We need to import to augment the food requirements,” she said.
At least 60 percent of the total rice imports came from Vietnam and 40 percent from Thailand, she said.
She added the first of three shipments arrived last week and the second shipment would be delivered within the week.
The rice will be stored at the NFA’s warehouse along Sta. Ana Avenue which can store 70,000 to 80,000 bags.
She said that Davao City’s daily requirement alone averages 10,000 bags.
According to Department of Agriculture 11’s report, the drought in the region has affected 1,390 rice farmers, 1,174 corn farmers, and 2,340 farmers cultivating high-value crops such as banana, rubber and cacao.
The drought has damaged in varying degrees 1,197 hectares of rice, 2,297 ha of corn and 1,544 ha of high-value crops.
Damage to crops was pegged at P52.54 million.
Roncal said the price of NFA rice will be retained at P27 a kilo at 212 accredited NFA outlets in the city. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)