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NFA wants to import 330,000 metric tons of rice

A rice seller inspects the stocks of rice at a warehouse in Quezon City on April 10, 2023.

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority (NFA) is pushing for the importation of 330,000 metric tons of rice in anticipation of a deficit in the country’s buffer stock this year, Malacañang said yesterday.

A Palace statement quoted agriculture officials as saying that the proposed buffer stock of rice is equivalent to nine days of national consumption from July 2023 onwards.

The proposal would also ensure enough volume for calamity and relief requirements from July to December this year, the statement added.

“The NFA is proposing the importation of 330,000 MT of rice to cover an expected deficit in the country’s buffer stock for the relief operations of various agencies in the event of calamities this year,” the Presidential Communications Office statement said.

“Given the NFA’s budgetary constraints, the agency expects its buffer stocks will decrease to less than 500,000 sacks by July 2023, which is equivalent to less than a day of public consumption,” it added.

Under the NFA’s proposed rice importation strategy, rice importation arrangement can be undertaken through government-to-government transactions, either through the Office of the President or its designated agency.

Republic Act 1203 or the Rice Tariffication Law has scrapped the regulatory and import licensing issuance functions of the NFA and reduced its mandate to emergency buffer stocking of rice purchased solely from local farmers, and allowed the private sector to freely import rice subject to a tariff.

At Malacañang where he met with agriculture officials, Marcos, who chairs the NFA Council, said, “It seems that our situation is good. We will not lack rice. We are looking at ways to control the prices of rice so it won’t increase that much.”

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2023/04/14/2258810/nfa-wants-import-330000-metric-tons-rice QR Code

Published Date: April 14, 2023

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