By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato
LISTED firm AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI) has signed a memorandum of agreement with state-owned Vietnam Southern Food Corporation — Vinafood II to bring more rice into the country.
In a disclosure to the Stock Exchange on Monday, Vinafood II announced that it will exclusively supply ANI two million metric tons (MT) of long grain rice annually.
The Vietnamese government mandates that the state-owned firm export rice to other Southeast Asian countries to ensure food security.
The agreement will still be “finalized in accordance with applicable Philippine laws”, such as the impending Rice Tariffication Bill, which seeks to remove the quantitative restriction on rice entering the country in exchange for higher tariffs on the commodity.
This deal comes after ANI submitted an unsolicited bid to the National Food Authority (NFA) last March to help the state grains agency fill up its buffer stock. ANI earlier said that it plans to bring in two million MT of rice, having allotted $100 million for this project.
However, the company did not clarify in its disclosure if this meant that the NFA accepted its proposal, as ANI said last month that NFA has 60 days to decide.
Under the deal, rice imported by ANI will be stored in NFA’s warehouses for the agency’s use. Any remaining stocks that had not been sold will be given back to ANI.