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Caraga Region boosts of enough rice supply

A National Food Authority (NFA) official Tuesday said Caraga Region is now practically flooded with locally harvested and imported rice as another boat containing some 150,000 bags of newly-imported rice arrived anew at the port of Surigao City.

NFA Caraga Regional Director Gil Pepito B. Paqueo said the volume of rice currently stocked at various warehouses and designated government outlets in the region is more than enough to meet the local rice requirement in the area for 31 days or more – based on the region’s daily requirement of 22,800 bags of rice.

It was learned that at least one million bags of imported rice have already been delivered in the Caraga Region since last December.

Earlier, the NFA official already announced to any interested grains businessmen/millers/wholesalers/retailers/establishments about the sale of imported rice now stored at various NFA warehouses throughout the region.

However, Paqueo stressed that buyers should be licensed as retailer/wholesaler by NFA.

He said a maximum quantity of 5,000 bags per purchase per, buyer based on capitalization, is allowed by the management.

At the same time, the NFA official also urged the public to send their comments or complaints to NFA offices in case of rice diversion, rebagging, and overpricing.

Meanwhile, in a bid to further boost the production of palay in the next cropping season in the Caraga Region, particularly in Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte, noted as rice producing provinces, a new scheme on rice seeds procurement and distribution is being adapted that is jointly undertaken by the Region 13 office of the Department of Agriculture (DA 13) and NFA, with the collaboration of local government units (LGUs).

The NFA official said the new scheme is the department’s Rapid Seed Supply Financing Project (RaSSFiP) financed through the International Fund for Agricultural Development-European Commission (IFAD-EC) loan and grant.

Based on the implementing guidelines adopted last year, the DA will download to the NFA the RaSSFiP fund in the amount of P668,819,742 and a loan from IFAD and the IFAD-EC grant of P430,665.420.

The said amount will be used by NFA for the procurement of Certified Rice Seeds (CRS) based on the volume and variety as determined by DA from certified seed growers and with certification from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). (MB)

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