NFA fumigates 186k bags of imported rice in Albay

FUMIGATION. The National Food Authority (NFA)-Bicol is currently fumigating 186,000 bags of rice from Thailand that are still loaded on a cargo ship docked at the Tabaco Port, and which were found to have bugs locally known as "bukbok". (Photo courtesy of NFA Albay)

By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY -- The National Food Authority (NFA) in Bicol bared on Wednesday that 186,000 bags of rice from Thailand still on board a cargo ship in Tabaco City are currently undergoing fumigation procedure after bugs called “bukbok” were discovered in them, a top official of NFA-Albay said.

"Normal na talaga na merong kulisap or bukbok na makikita natin sa mga bigas kaya andyan yung mga expert natin from NFA, DA and the pest control personnel to check the quality assurance ng idenideliber na bigas. Kahit sa ating mga warehouses ay normal na rin na nakikita ang mga pesteng ito kaya we're always doing fumigation. (It is normal to have insects in our rice, that's why we have experts from NFA, DA (Department of Agriculture) and pest control personnel to check the quality of rice. Even in our warehouses, it is normal to have these that's why we do fumigation)," said Engr. Alan Sabaybay, NFA provincial manager.

He noted that the said volume of rice forms part of the total 200,000 bags that recently arrived in Albay from Thailand.

The pests were observed after they were able to unload 14,000 sacks from the cargo ship, Sabaybay said.

"We have to temporarily stop the unloading after discovering that insects were crawling on top of piles of rice sacks inside the cargo vessel," he said.

"We are hopeful that the 186,000 bags of imported rice from Thailand on board a cargo vessel docked off Tabaco Port which were earlier discovered to have 'kulisap or bokbok' will be unloaded on the first week of September," he added.

The cargo ship from Thailand arrived last August 7 but because of unfavorable weather condition, the unloading only started last week, lasting only for two days until pests were seen crawling on some bags of rice.

Sabaybay said the fumigation process could be finished on September 1 or 2, after which the unloading process could resume.

Aside from the 200,000 bags of rice that arrived at Tabaco Port, another cargo ship loaded with 164,000 bags of rice from Thailand is expected to arrive on August 25. (PNA)