We have enough rice, NFA-9 assures
Zamboanga City (26 February) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) here assured they have sufficient rice supply for the city and for the other provinces in the region.
NFA Assistant Regional Director Cristituto Mangaoang informed that a buffer stock is reserved in case El Nino hits the region.
"We have already set aside a total of 140,000 bags of rice for Zamboanga City; 88,000 for Zamboanga-Sibugay; 146,000 for Zamboanga del Norte and 123,000 bags for Zamboanga del Sur", Mangaoang said.
The buffer stock is enough from 25 days to one month allocation for the whole population of the region until the next trance of rice supply will arrive, he explained.
He also informed that an estimated P10 million worth of damages to crops would be experienced due to El Nino, however NFA with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other government line agencies are ready to extend assistance to areas that would be badly affected by the phenomenon.
Recently, NFA received a total of 353,300 bags of rice initially from the 530,000 bags imported by the government from Thailand and Vietnam. This means that there will be no rice shortage in the locality, Mangaoang explained.
Meanwhile, NFA continue to supply iron fortified rice to Pre-school children through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Food for School program of the government.
According to NFA Quality Assurance Officer Manuel Cuevas the iron fortification will add to the natural nutrient found in the rice itself which is very vital for pre-schooler?s nutritional needs.
Cuevas explained a ratio of 1 bag of rice or 50 kilograms mixed with 250 grams of iron fortificant is the process being followed to ensure that the nutrient is present in the rice supply.
He further explained a ratio of one (1) kilo of rice is to five (5) grams of iron fortificant. "This is patiently checked by assigned NFA worker manning the fortification machine installed at the warehouse", Cuevas said.
Two fortification machines that are manually and electronically operated are daily producing one thousand (1,000) 50 kilo bags of rice to meet the supply demand of the DSWD and the Department of Education (DepEd) in implementing food assistance programs for the school children. (fnm/PIA-Zamboanga City) [top]