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PIA Press Release

Rice price hike seen as food fortification is implemented

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (23 February) -- Food Fortification Task Force is expecting a P1 increase on all commercial rice as soon as the full implementation of iron fortification starts on 2011.

National Nutrition Council regional head Ma. Teresa Ungson expects resistance of consumers in buying a more expensive commercial rice. However, with the full blast scheduled implementation that the city of Davao is about to follow consumers are most likely to embrace the P1 rise in price.

"What is P1 if we are assured a healthier product that our body needs. Iron deficiency is one major health problem that our country faces," Ungson said.

ON the government sector, Davao City is now fully implementing iron fortification in rice with the National Food Authority selling iron-fortified NFA rice through its Tindahan Natin outlets.

National Food Authority Davao Field Office head Filemon Cangrejo said that the office started selling iron-fortified rice especially in depress areas early this month.

It has also requested its market retailers to provide in their stores at least one box displayed with iron-fortified rice.

The NFA started installing last January fortification machines at 5,000 kilograms per hour capacity with a daily total capacity of 10,000 kilogram.

He also announced that the office has trained some personnel who would take charge the actual quality evaluation.

"This is in compliance to the requirement that all commercial rice should also undergo registration and evaluation on quality standards," Cangrejo explained.

In time for the license renewal period of rice businessmen, NFA also took the chance of reminding these commercial suppliers about the required full implementation set on 2011.

Vice Chair of the Food Fortification Task Force Boy Rallos bared that government rice is now 40 percent in compliance while private sectors selling iron-fortified rice is now on a 100 percent compliance.

Known to have seriously answered the call of food fortification, Davao City is among those recognized as having high compliance rate on both public and private supporters.

Rallos attributed such recognition on the persistent efforts shown by the multi-sectoral members of the task force. (PIA) [top]

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