NFA-7 procures 729 bags of palay from local farmers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Rice Tariffication Law prohibiting the National Food Authority (NFA) from importing rice has prompted the agency to focus on procuring palay from local farmers.
With this, the National Food Authority in Central Visayas (NFA-7) has procured 729 bags of play from local farmers in the region.
Olma Bayno, information officer of NFA-7, told CDN Digital that 589 bags of which were procured from local rice farmers in the province of Bohol while 203 bags had been procured from Negros Oriental.
Bayno said that with the new law, which had been signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 14, 2019, prohibiting them from importing rice, the NFA-7 then held dialogues starting last April with local farmers to encourage them to sell their produce to them.
“During the “Ugnayan,” we also discussed to farmers the buying price of NFA to locally produced rice,” she added.
NFA is buying locally produced rice at P20.70 per kilo.
With the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law or Republic Act 11203, increase on rice imports are expected since the new policy liberalizes the importation, exportation, and trading of rice, lifting for the purpose of quantitative import restriction on rice.
The government is also expecting that the prices of rice will go down, as rice imports will no longer be limited, and importers will just have to pay 35 percent tariff or import duty.
Since they are no longer allowed to import rice, Bayno said that they had reduced their rice allocations to NFA accredited retailers.
“In February to March, we are allocating 60 bags of NFA-rice to accredited rice retailers. In April, we’ve reduced it to 50 bags. But this month, we even reduced the allocation to 10 bags,” she said.
However, as of the moment, Bayno said that the NFA-7 had around 430,000 bags of NFA rice that are stocked at their warehouses.
The supplies are part of the NFA’s last importation which arrived in February this year and would be expected to last until the month of August.
She also said that they had been selling NFA-rice at P27 per kilo (25 percent broken) after they run out of supply on NFA-rice that had been sold at P32 per kilo (10 percent broken)./dbs
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