Smuggled rice affects local farmers – Palacat PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 September 2013 13:19

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat yesterday said the entry of smuggled or imported rice greatly affects the livelihood of local farmers.

Palacat lamented that smuggled or imported rice, which are sold at cheaper prices, is killing the local rice industry.

He said local farmers have to set prices of locally produced rice to a level where they will have to include costs for various expenses to include expenses for fertilizers, pesticides and others.

The smuggled and or imported rice enter the city through the ports and even through land such as those from Cagayan de Oro City.

Local rice production can only support 15-21% or the local rice requirement, according to Palacat. The balance is covered by the rice products from other provinces and by the National Food Authority (NFA).

“75% of the deficit is supplied by the NFA and rice from other provinces. Manada pa otro de apuera ta entra so there is over supply and when there is over supply, dejao el maga local farmers di aton,” Palacat lamented.

The City Agriculturist brought to the attention of concerned agencies about the plight of the local farmers during a recent meeting convened by Mayor Beng Climaco where the issue about rice smuggling was discussed.

Authorities are finding ways and means on how to come up with collaborative efforts in operating against rice smugglers to stop the illegal activity.

Police authorities have conducted series of operations that resulted to the seizure of alleged smuggled rice however, after a few days the items are released by the Bureau of customs accordingly after the presentation of documents by those who transport the items.

Mayor Climaco has instructed all agencies concerned in the drive against rice smuggling to combine or unify efforts to stamp out such illegal activities. — Sheila Covarrubias