CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 04 April) — Two foreign cargo ships carrying 5,300 metric tons of rice from Vietnam arrived at the ports of northern Mindanao last weekend.
Mylah Faye Cariño, regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said on top of that, the Agriculture department also expects a good harvest of rice in Northern Mindanao in the coming weeks.
Cariño said the additional rice supply is expected to boost the rice stocks of 103 days in the region.
“We have now enough rice for Northern Mindanao. The prices and supply will stabilized,” Cariño said.
Cariño said the two vessels arrived respectively on March 31 and April 1. One ship carried 4,000 metric tons and the other carried 1,300 metric tons.
On March 29, a Vietnamese vessel loaded with rice docked at the Philippine Ports Authority in Iligan City carrying 4,722.63 metric tons of rice. Iligan is a member-city of Northern Mindanao.
The Vietnamese government announced on March 24 that it was temporarily stopping the issuance of clearance for rice shipments to ensure food security for its own people.
Vietnam is the country’s biggest supplier of rice, accounting for about 85 percent of the total imports last year.
The supply of rice had been a concern after Governor Jose Maria Zubiri of Bukidnon, a member-province of Northern Mindanao, threatened to stop the sale of the grains outside his province.
Because food supply was exempted from the quarantine measures, Cariño said 160,000 kilos of fruits and vegetables were shipped to Dumaguete, Cebu, Bohol and Manila last week.
Cariño said 340,000 kilos of eggs and day-old chicks are also shipped from the Cagayan de Oro port to these markets.
She said another 800,000 kilos of eggs and day-old chicks are shipped to Davao and other regions in Mindanao.
“Every day cargoes are being loaded at the port of Cagayan de Oro. Northern Mindanao have not stop food production,” Cariño said.
Northern Mindanao’s provinces, especially the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, are among the major food baskets in Southern Philippines.
Northern Mindanao comprises the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental and the cities of Malaybalay, Valencia, Iligan, Tangub, Oroquieta, Ozamiz, Cagayan de Oro and El Savlador. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)