NFA to ease rice importation process for private sector
The National Food Authority (NFA) will finally make easier the rice importation process in the country more than a month after President Duterte gave the go-ahead to open the program to more players.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who heads the grains agency and sits at the board of the NFA Council, said he would be signing the resolution this week before he flies to Papua New Guinea to tackle agricultural issues between the two countries.
“The NFA Council approved the out-quota allocation, meaning, if you comply with the requirements set by the NFA, you could bring in rice to the country,” he said. The out-quota importation will allow the private sector to bring in rice outside the minimum access volume (MAV). The MAV refers to the volume of agricultural products allowed to be imported at a lower duty as part of a country’s commitment to the World Trade Organization.
In addition, the agency has reduced the requirements that would-be traders and importers have to submit to five from 14 as part of another mandate from the President to streamline bureaucratic processes.
The NFA has yet to release the new guidelines.
Currently, there are 351 licensed grains importers in the country, and the agency is expecting the number to swell given the strong support from Mr. Duterte and his economic managers.
Opening the rice market to more imports is expected to bring down prices of the staple by as much as P6 a kilogram.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.