NFA bans importation of ‘fancy rice’ starting today

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority Council under the Department of Agriculture (DA) has banned the importation of 5 percent broken milled white rice, also known as “fancy rice” starting today, September 25, in an effort to bring down rice prices in the market.

DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol said the aim of rice importation is to stabilize rice prices in the market by increasing supply. However, the entrance of fancy rice in the market has effectively hiked the price of local rice.

“Ngayon kapag ang iniimport ay fancy rice…lalo lang tumataas ang presyo ng bigas kasi sila ‘yung nagseset ng trend at P55-P58 per kilo, Jasmine rice, long grains and so on…humahabol ngayon ‘yung local na bigas, nasa P45/P48,” said Sec. Piñol.

This has prompted him to recommend to the NFA Council not to allow the importation of 5 percent broken rice and to set the limit of allowable breakage percentage at 25 percent only.

Piñol said this will allow the government to recover control over the price of rice in the market.

He also announced that importation will now be strictly supervised by the Department of Agriculture.

“Magpapadala po kami ng inspectors. Kung halimbawa Vietnam, bago ikarga ‘yung bigas, magpapadala ako ng tao kasama taga-NFA. We will inspect, may bukbok ba ‘yan, walang bukbok, ‘yan ba ay 25% broken, para wala nang lusutan,” the DA Secretary said.

Meanwhile, the NFA Council will be giving incentives in the form of tractors and free use of flatbed driers among others, to encourage Filipino farmers to sell rice to the NFA. — Asher Cadapan, Jr.

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