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NFA urged to extend arrival period for rice imports

NFA urged to extend arrival period for rice imports

BANGKOK: Farmers’ cooperatives and private companies are asking the National Food Authority (NFA) for a one-month extension of the arrival period for rice imported under the so-called minimum access volume (MAV). According to NFA Spokesman Marietta J. Ablaza,  farmers’ cooperatives and firms need more time to bring in rice imported under the MAV scheme of the World Trade Organization.

“The import permits were distributed only last December and with holidays, farmers’ cooperatives and firms had very limited time to prepare the necessary paperwork,” Ablaza said. She said NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino has yet to approve the request of the importers.

Last December the NFA allowed 210 farmers’ organizations and private firms to import 692,340 metric tons (MT) of rice, 110,160 MT less than the country’s annual MAV of 802,500 MT.

The NFA list available on its web site also showed that 194 qualified rice traders, including AgriNurture Inc. and Pilmico Foods Corp., will import 642,340 MT of rice under the country specific quota (CSQ). Of the total rice to be imported under the CSQ, 293,100 MT of rice will be bought from Thailand and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, 16 qualified applicants will import a total of 50,000 MT of rice under the “omnibus origin” category, according to the NFA list.