Marine rice, NFA stocks readied for La Nina
The International Rice Research Institute has developed the “marine rice,” which could be grown best while a La Nina phenomenon is prevailing, National Food Authority administrator Renan Dalisay said.
However, Dalisay said the new rice variety has yet to be distributed to the Department of Agriculture for dissemination to farmers because IRRI is still trying to grow more.
“The NFA continues to prepare for the El Nino and La Nina.
We have accepted that climate change is the new normal,” he said.
He did not mention much about the features of the “marine rice.”
The weather bureau has predicted that a La Nina will follow the El Nino phenomenon which is expected to last until August.
Dalisay said NFA rice stocks are enough for the lean months.
He said the DA is monitoring the effects of the El Nino on production and harvest while the NFA is monitoring supply or stocks.
“The price of rice is low and we do not see long lines in NFA outlets. There is no threat of shortage or hoarding,” he said.
He said the NFA is also on alert against speculators.
“If there are speculators, we will fight them by releasing a bigger supply of rice,” he said.
“Because of our readiness, we will weather the El Nino without raising the prices of rice,” he added.
He also said there is very little smuggling, rice mixing or diversion right now.