The Philippine Star
NFA still short of palay procurement target
State-run National Food Authority (NFA) has only achieved four percent of its target palay (unhusked rice) procurement this year amid high prices at the farm gate level.
Latest data from the grains agency showed it has only bought 76,120 bags as of end-June versus its target two million bags for the whole 2018.
For the first semester, NFA is targeting to procure up to 804,000 bags.
In fact, NFA already slashed its original target for the year of six million bags following the continued increase in prices and the repeated rejection of its proposal to hike its palay buying price.
The two million bags is also lower than the three million bags target last year.
Latest palay prices showed that farm gate prices are at P21.36 per kilogram from P19.28 per kg last year.
The agency only buys palay at P17 per kilogram and the standard 50-kg bag costs about P850.
Meanwhile, NFA said it would continue to ramp up its procurement in some areas to ensure additional supply in its inventory.
NFA starts buying during the summer harvest season, but bulk of the target volume is expected to be bought starting October until December as the main harvest season contributes 70 percent to the country’s total annual harvest.
Incentives are being offered to individual farmers and farmer cooperatives nationwide, including delivery incentive of P0.20 to P0.50 per kilogram, P0.20 per kg drying incentive, P0.30/kg cooperative development incentive fee.
Under the law, NFA is tasked to buy the palay produce of local farmers as buffer stock for calamities and other contingencies.
Last year, NFA failed to meet its local procurement target following higher prices offered by private traders of up to P25 per kilogram compared to the buying price of the agency at P17 per kilogram.
Meanwhile, individual farmers who wish to sell their produce to the NFA only needs to secure a passbook to prove that he is a legitimate farmer, submit an information sheet and secure a certification from a municipal agriculturist where the farm is located.
For farmers’ organizations, a master passbook must be secured by submitting their certificate of registration, assembly resolution and master list of members.