NFA to ramp up palay purchase
The Department of Agriculture said it has instructed the NFA to beef up its palay buying and take the extra mile by picking up farmers’ produce in their respective barangays.
STAR/File
NFA to ramp up palay purchase
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority will intensify its procurement of palay (unhusked rice) to ensure stable prices and income for local farmers.

The Department of Agriculture said it has instructed the NFA to beef up its palay buying and take the extra mile by picking up farmers’ produce in their respective barangays.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, who also chairs the NFA Council, said the grains agency would offer transport services for farmers who cannot deliver their produce to the warehouses and avail of drying facilities.

“We will continue to buy palay as high as P19 per kilogram, at 14 percent moisture content, from our farmers to assure them of bigger earnings, and if need be pick up their produce at a designated area in their barangay,” Dar said.

Dar recently visited NFA-Tarlac to check on its procurement activities.

NFA-Tarlac buys an average of 7,000 bags of palay daily and expects to increase this in the coming weeks in coordination with municipal agriculture offices, farmers’ groups, and barangay local government units in the province.

Its warehouses have a total capacity of 550,000 bags of palay.

For her part, NFA-Central Luzon director Elvira Obaña said they were looking to buy a total of 1.75 million bags of palay from farmers in Central Luzon, starting this month until the end of the year.

To optimize the agency’s palay procurement fund, Dar has instructed the NFA to immediately mill the palay then sell it to LGUs and other government agencies and subsequently roll-over the amount to buy more from farmers and create a multiplier effect.

The DA has also called on the top 12 rice-producing provinces to help NFA buy palay directly from their farmer-constituents to help stabilize prices.

The provinces include Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Iloilo, Camarines Sur, Tarlac, Negros Occidental, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, and Leyte. Last year, they produced more than 9.74 million metric tons of palay, comprising about half of the country’s total harvest of 18.8 million MT.

“Their direct procurement will significantly shore up the national average farmgate price of palay, thus helping more farmers,” Dar said.

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