Rice trading center seen to solve rice smuggling in ZamBaSulTa

admin   •   August 29, 2018   •   5074



The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) are currently studying the establishment of a rice trading center in ZamBaSulTa — Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said the measure can curb rice smuggling in the area.

Based on the estimation of the agriculture department, about 2,000 metric tons or 4 million sacks of rice from Vietnam and Thailand are being shipped by smugglers every year.

Piñol said that smuggling is causing the government to lose P2 billion worth of revenues that end up in the pockets of corrupt officials.

Smuggled rice has also made its way to Central Visayas which threatens local farmers in Mindanao who are losing farmhands.

The secretary added that the government’s intensified anti-smuggling campaign caused the dwindling of rice supply in ZamBaSulaTa which resulted in the price hike.

“They[ NFA Council] agreed that smugglers there should be paying taxes to the government and become legal suppliers of rice for the region,” Piñol said.

ZamBaSulaTa is only able to harvest 10 percent of their annual rice requirement of 201,000 metric tons.

The NFA is also currently processing the permit for private importation of 132,000 metric tons of rice through minimum access volume. These will be allocated to affected areas only.

Loans given to farmers through production loan easy access are also expected to boost rice production. — Rey Pelayo

P100M worth of smuggled frozen agri-fishery products seized in Navotas City

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2021


MANILA, Philippines —  Authorities intercepted about P100-million worth of smuggled agri-fishery products at a vacant lot in Navotas City Thursday afternoon, May 27.

Specifically, elements of the Sub-Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STG-EI) under the Task Group on Food Security held the anti-smuggling operation along Guillermo Street, San Rafael Village in Navotas City.

The operation resulted in the seizure of 12 refrigerated container vans loaded with assorted frozen pork, beef, jumbo shrimp, eel, black chicken, crawfish, Peking duck, and dory fish fillet.

The shipments originated from Vietnam, China, Germany and Belgium based on the markings on the boxes.

The container vans were opened in the presence of the alleged caretaker identified as Gilbert Abanso who revealed that the said shipments were not covered by any documentation such as import permits and clearances.

The STG-EI is composed of members from the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Intelligence Coordinating Council (NICA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Meanwhile, representatives of the Bureau and Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) are now conducting full inventory prior to the disposition of the said smuggled items.

Documentation and filing of appropriate charges against the owner of the shipment is underway.

DA receives additional 1,591 dairy goats from Australia

Marje Pelayo   •   May 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) received an additional 1,591 heads of dairy goats from Australia as part of the Department of Agriculture-National Dairy Authority (DA-NDA) Intensified Community-Based Dairy Enterprise Development.

The additional animals, which arrived in the country on May 18 at the Clark International Airport, Pampanga, are currently quarantined at JJK Farm, Magalang Pampanga.

They will be distributed to farmer recipients in Luzon who passed the technical evaluation conducted by the DA-NDA.

These goats are in addition to the 1,294 imported dairy goats that arrived at General Santos International Airport, General Santos City, last April 5, 2021, which are intended to be distributed to farmer recipients in Mindanao and Visayas.

DA-NDA’s animal importation project aims to build up herd numbers, enhance local milk production, and increase the average family income of dairy farmers.

Millers urge government to buy locally-produced rice

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Under Executive Order 135, the tariff on rice from countries like India, Pakistan and China will be reduced to 35% from 40% to 50%.

Agriculture group Samahan ng Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG) said traders might divert and buy imported rice than the locally-produced one because of price differences.

As a consequence, millers would need to buy rice from local farmers at a lower price.

“Doon sa P24 na landed cost (ng imported rice), ang pwede nilang bili sa farmers is P15 ang dry, ang wet ay nasa P12. With that price, malulugi ang farmers dahil wala pa sa break even price iyon,” said SINAG’s Rosendo So.

Thus, millers are calling on government to buy locally produced rice through the National Food Authority (NFA) at P17.50 per kilogram and a milling fee of P3 to P5 per kilogram.

SINAG estimates that the government needs P205 billion to buy around 12 million metric tons of harvest from June to December this year.

“With this new EO, kung mag backout ang magsasaka dahil ang miller ay hindi bibili ng mataas dahil malulugi sila, malaking shortage natin sa bigas,” So added.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the NFA can only buy a limited volume of rice.

“NFA will only buy because they are mandated to maintain buffer stock, so yun lang ang bibilhin ng gobyerno,” Dar said.

The official said that only the 10% deficit in local rice production will be allowed to import.

Dar added that farmers are now enjoying the benefit of the rice enhancement competitive fund under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).

“The farmers, sabi naman nila dati, aatras sila because of the RTL. The farmers continue to plant,” Dar noted.

He said the intention behind the lowering of tariff was to make rice affordable. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)


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