DA, NFA to refine timing of rice imports

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NFA rice

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Food Authority (NFA) will fine-tune the scheduling of rice imports after delays in the replenishment of a strategic reserve designed to keep low-cost rice available to poor families.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that the proposed system will ensure that imported rice will be brought in during lean months of between June and August.

“(Imported rice) should arrive in the lean months because that is the period when we need supply in order to keep prices stable,” he added.

“We will be come up with specific schedules on the arrival of imported rice — when it should be awarded, when it should be imported, [and] when should it arrive,” Mr. Piñol said.

“We are also preparing for the reported El Niño by the end of the year,” he added.

The DA noted that some farmers are currently harvesting early. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato