Philippine rice retailers can import up to 350,000 T — farm minister

October 8, 2018 - 3:40 PM
Volunteer operating crane lifter
A volunteer operates a crate lifter to carry sacks of rice for victims of Super Typhoon Mangkhut at the Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Relief Operations Center in Pasay City, Metro Manila, in Philippines, September 17, 2018. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA — Philippine rice retailers can directly import up to 350,000 tonnes of the staple food, the country’s farm minister said on Monday, as the government seeks to further boost domestic supply and reduce high prices of the grain.

The National Food Authority (NFA) has approved the proposal of the Department of Trade and Industry to allow major retailers to directly import rice, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol told reporters.

The approved volume is on top of the 750,000 tonnes that the NFA is set to import before the end of the year, he said. —Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Sunil Nair