Stakeholders thumb down NFA abolition
An umbrella group composed of farmers and agriculture stakeholders opposed plans to abolish the National Food Authority as lawmakers inch closer to the removal of the quantitative restriction on rice and the eventual tariffication of the same.
In a joint statement, the agri coalition stressed that the abolition of the NFA would result to the take over of private sector to the rice sector, which could be detremental to both farmers and consumers.
Instead, they said that the government should rethink the NFA’s mandate, particular price control for farmgate and retail.
Among those pushing for NFA’s continuouse operations are the National Farmer Federation, Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas, Pambansang Katipunan ng Makabayang Magbubukid, Katipunan ng Bagong Pilipinas, Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Samahan sa Kanayunan, Pangisda, Amma-K, Makabayan, Aktib and Integrated Rural Development Foundation.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives will conduct a hearing on the alleged rice cartel and the grains agency’s incapability to source stocks from local farmers. The hearing could potentially paint the future prospects of the NFA.