CEBU, Philippines – Constant information dissemination is needed to increase the consumption rate of brown rice, which is priced higher compared to white rice.
Gerry Avila, agribusiness chief of the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas, said that current supply of brown rice is not that much.
But the National Food Authority announced last week that NFA retailers are now to sell brown rice at P37 per kilogram, starting in Bohol province.
The rate is only a few pesos higher than NFA regular and well-milled rice, sold at P27 and P32 per kilogram, respectively, and almost 50 percent lower than commercial brown rice.
Brown rice is often available in supermarkets and market stalls at prices ranging from P50 to P80 and above per kilogram.
In Bohol, each 50-kilogram bag of brown rice is priced at P1,750.
The staple’s low price is due to a low purchase and processing price made possible by an agreement with Bohol Farmers Association Marketing Cooperative (BOFMAMCO) which manages and operates the Korea International Cooperation Agency’s Rice Processing Complex.
“If brown rice is always available and with continuous info dissemination, I think consumption will increase,” Avila told The FREEMAN.
But the DA official cited storage as one of the limitations of brown rice.
He said that brown rice cannot be stored for a long time as they are attractive to pests and ants.
He added that producing brown rice is also a lot easier.
The NFA and DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute partnered to get locally-grown and milled rice to markets at a low cost.
Brown rice is considered more nutritious than white rice, as its bran layer has not been removed by polishing. The bran layer provides vital vitamins and minerals that the body needs such as fiber, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, manganese and selenium, among others.
A healthy diet supported by frequent consumption of brown rice can help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, intestinal cancer, obesity, asthma attacks, lung disease and high blood pressure.
NFA said access to brown rice can also help increase rice supply, as its milling recovery is higher at 70-75 percent, compared with the 65 percent recovery of white rice. (FREEMAN)
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