NFA sets aside P6.7 B for palay procurement
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.