Private traders no longer to import rice
THE NEXT GOVERNMENT will bar private traders from importing rice and aims to stamp out rampant smuggling of the grain into the country, fueling trader speculation of reduced demand from the world’s third-biggest buyer of the grain.
Rice industry groups that have been complaining of the current government’s apparent lack of will to curb smuggling — consequently, eroding farmers’ incomes — welcomed the move.
The task of importing rice to ensure food security will now be solely in the hands of the state grains agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), incoming President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s choice for agriculture secretary, Emmanuel F. Piñol, said in a radio interview.
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