NFA promotes weeklong sale of iron-fortified rice at discounted price
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan, Samar (23 September) -- National Food Authority (NFA) Samar strengthened its promotion of Iron Fortified Rice (IFR) by selling the same at a discounted price from September 20-24, 2010 as the agency celebrated its 38th year.
Guesting in 'Bantay Probinsya' anchored by Rommel Rutor, Manager Francisca Mercado urged the people to consume Iron Fortified Rice for additional nutrients.
The selling price of Iron Fortified Rice is at 23.50/kilo for the duration of the'sale' period and consumers are limited to five kilos purchase only.
Once this week is over, price of the IFR will normalize to P25.00/ per kilo much the same as the regular NFA rice, the manager explained.
As regards the unpopularity of th IFR to consumers, based on the retailers' feedback, two sides of the IFR issue were bared in the interview.
Mercado said that some retailers purposely remove the pre mixed iron grains colored yellow to pass the rice as the regular one and sell it with a higher price.
Retailers meanwhile claim that the iron fortified rice tastes differently and becomes discolored once cooked and does not enjoy patronage.
Mercado explained the Law on Fortification.
"It is not only rice that is fortified according to law, but also flour, oil, margarine and even sugar," Mercado explained to listeners of the prime time program at DYMS.
She then urged the consumers and retailers never to extract the yellow grains as they are part of the 2.5 kilos of iron pre-mix per 50 kilo-bag of NFA rice.
Texters poured in like asking whether the iron fortified rice is part of the 'damaged' rice discovered in rice depots in Metro Manila, Mercado denies this, saying that iron fortification has long been implemented here in Samar and they are quality rice and not damaged.
She also denied that only samples are fortified. She added that in Samar there is a steady supply of Iron Fortified Rice.
A check with the NFA storekeeper Bimboy Flor revealed that a steady stream of buyers have patronized the iron fortified rice this morning after listening to the radio.
"We had to withdraw ten more bags of rice, as we expect more buyers," Flor told PIA. (PIA-Samar) [top]