The cost of cooking rice in Puerto Rican households is expected to climb in 2018, according to the latest forecasts from the country’s Department of Agriculture.
The increase will come as the rainy season heats up and the country prepares to release its first harvest of crops from its rainy season in nearly five years.
The price of rice has risen by more than 8 percent to 1,000 pesos ($10.60) per kilo in 2017, according the report by the Department of Public Health.
But the increase in rice prices is far smaller than the increases experienced by other staples such as meat and dairy products, and will probably continue to rise.
The department said that a year ago, a kilo of rice cost $5.40 in Puerto Rica.
The cost rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 and by 6.6 percent in 2018.
The agency said that the cost of a kilogram of rice will rise to about $7.50 this year, which is up from about $5 last year.
But, the report said, the average price of a loaf of bread is about half that, and the cost for a pound of rice is still about $2.40.
It said that, due to the weather, there will likely be shortages of rice this year.
The report warned that the increased price could lead to a drop in rice consumption, as the government does not have enough storage capacity to store the rice that is harvested.
“The lack of storage capacity is likely to result in a reduction in rice production and consumption,” it said.
“Food shortages and price increases may also lead to shortages of other foodstuffs such as sugar, milk, eggs and cheese.”
The increase in the price of the rice, which has been steadily rising for several years, is particularly concerning for rural households who are still coping with the economic crisis caused by the devastating earthquake in 2010.
The disaster, which killed nearly 7,000 people and displaced more than 1 million others, left the island without a functioning government.
Some residents have lost their homes and are living on food aid provided by aid agencies.
“We’re in the middle of an emergency, which means the prices of the staple foods will rise,” said Maria Isabel Rivera, an 18-year-old high school student in the central city of Guayana.
“It’s a situation that is very difficult for me, and I’m not getting much help from my parents.
We are facing this crisis all year, and this time we are not getting help from our families,” Rivera said.
Puerto Rico’s government has been trying to reduce food costs by increasing the price for some foods, such as rice.
But Maria Rivera said that even with the price hikes, she still doesn’t have enough money to eat.
“I have to take a bus, or I have to drive, to go to the grocery store,” she said.
The Department of Health has reported that about 15 percent of Puerto Ricans lack access to rice, the countrys main staple.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said that only about 1.5 percent of households have access to the rice crop, and that about 80 percent of the population relies on food banks to make ends meet.
“There are a lot of people who cannot afford to eat,” said Pedro López, the director of the Office of the Regional Director for the Office for Food Security.
“This is not something that is being considered a humanitarian emergency, but an emergency for the population,” he said.
But not everyone in Puerto Ricos rural areas is feeling the pinch of the crisis.
“When the sun comes down, we don’t want to eat rice,” said Ricardo López, a 26-year old resident of Puerto Vallarta, the largest city in the state of Guanajuato.
He said that he still doesn.
“In my house, there is nothing but rice, so we will eat whatever we can get,” he told Reuters.
“If we can, we will.”