Agriculture department 'floods' market with cheap, imported NFA rice

MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Friday, September 13, led the unloading of cheap imported rice of the National Food Authority (NFA) in a public market in Quezon City to push down prices of the staple.

Dar said that the NFA will be selling 3.6 million bags of rice nationwide, most of which will be allotted for Metro Manila.

NFA rice will be sold at P25 per kilo to retailers and P27 per kilo to consumers.

Prevailing prices of rice in the Commonwealth market starts at P32 per kilo and goes as high as P48. (MAP: Palay prices in the Philippines)

Economic managers previously said that under Republic Act No. 11203 or the rice tariffication law, prices will drop to P27 per kilo due to the competitive market environment.

WATCH: Agriculture Secretary William Dar leads the unloading of NFA rice in Commonwealth Market. NFA will release 3.6 million bags of imported rice until early October to increase supply in cities. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/zb7uR7lA6K — Ralf Rivas (@RalfRivas) September 13, 2019

“We will see to it that prices will drop and this is the start where people can buy quality rice at the level of P27. With more P27 rice from the NFA, it will impact the price in the market,” Dar said.

Under the rice tariffication law, the NFA was stripped off its powers as quantitative restrictions were removed. The agency’s function is just to stock rice to be released during calamities. It will no longer directly sell rice.

However, Dar clarified that the NFA has imported more than 3.8 million bags before the law was passed. 

The income from selling the NFA rice will be used to buy palay from farmers at a higher price. (READ: Farmers seek floor price as palay sells for just P7 per kilo)

The agriculture chief said the NFA will be raising the support price of palay from P17 to P19 per kilo for clean and dry palay. 

Dar said the P2 increase in the palay price support will translate roughly to an P8,000 additional income per farmer based on current average yield of 4 bags per hectare.  – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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