NFA sets aside P6.7 B for palay pro­cure­ment

The Philippine Star - - AGRICULTURE - By LOUISE MAU­REEN SIMEON

The Na­tional Food Au­thor­ity is al­lo­cat­ing P6.7 bil­lion for an in­ten­si­fied lo­cal palay pro­cure­ment pro­gram of­fer­ing ad­di­tional in­cen­tives for farm­ers to en­cour­age them to sell their pro­duce to the govern­ment.

Un­der the pro­gram, the NFA is of­fer­ing an ad­di­tional in­cen­tive of P3 per kilo­gram on top of the P17.70 per kilo buy­ing price for clean and dry paddy rice.

This marked the first time that the NFA pro­vided a higher pay­ment for the farm­ers’ pro­duce since 2008 when the buy­ing price of palay was in­creased from P11 to P17.

Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Em­manuel Piñol said the fund al­lo­ca­tion aims to in­crease the NFA’s buf­fer stocks in com­pli­ance with Pres­i­dent Duterte’s di­rec­tive to beef up the rice re­serves of the coun­try.

The lo­cal pro­cure­ment pro­gram with the added in­cen­tive is also aimed at es­tab­lish­ing a sup­port price for farm­ers who may be af­fected by the lift­ing of the quan­ti­ta­tive re­stric­tions on im­ported rice.

The govern­ment is ex­pected to pro­cure an es­ti­mated 320,000 met­ric tons of clean and dry palay, equiv­a­lent to 224,000 MT of rice.

The ad­just­ment of the buy­ing price will be im­ple­mented in 37 prov­inces with sur­plus rice pro­duc­tion.

NFA is op­ti­mistic it will be able to buy more palay from lo­cal farm­ers with the ad­di­tional in­cen­tive.

This year, NFA aims to pur­chase 2.6 mil­lion bags of palay. With the ad­di­tional in­cen­tives, NFA is op­ti­mistic it can meet this pro­cure­ment target.

To date, only four per­cent of the pro­cure­ment target has been bought by the NFA.

While it prefers clean and dry palay for its pro­cure­ment pro­gram, NFA also buys wet palay from farm­ers with up to 30 per­cent mois­ture con­tent.

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