Philippines - Department of Agriculture (DA) supports the decision of Malacañang to restore the 7-percent tariff for feed wheat.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the decision of President Arroyo to restore the tariff is timely as the country will soon be in the middle of the main harvest for corn.
“We’re already approaching the main harvest for corn. [If the zero duty was retained], it would seriously disadvantage corn farmers,” Yap told reporters at the sidelines of the preharvest celebration organized by the DA and Gawad Kalinga.
For months, the DA had been mum on its position about the extension of Executive Order 765, which allowed the duty-free importation of feed wheat for the first six months of this year.
Corn farmers, led by the Philippine Maize Federation (Philmaize), have been asking the government to reinstate the 7-percent tariff on feed-grade wheat.
Philmaize says the retention of the tariff will discourage corn farmers from planting more of the produce.
Earlier, stakeholders from the poultry and livestock sector said the reinstatement of the 7-percent tariff on feed wheat will make animal feeds more expensive and consequently raise the market prices of poultry and pork products.
Feed-grade wheat is an alternative raw material for yellow corn, the main ingredient for making animal feeds used by the livestock and poultry sector.