Stronger cooperatives entitled to DA support
Ramon Efren Lazaro (The Philippine Star) - October 6, 2019 - 12:00am

CITY OF MALOLOS, Philippines — Bulacan farmers should strengthen their cooperatives through their local government units so that they can avail of farming and post-harvest facilities from the Department of Agriculture.

This was the suggestion of Ed Camua, acting provincial manager of the National Food Authority in Bulacan.

The suggestion was made after NFA-Bulacan started procuring newly harvested palay from its Balagtas and San Miguel warehouses in the province.

Camua said they have already started buying palay from the farmers for this cropping season at P19 per kilo for clean and dried palay, lower than the previous buying price of P20.40 for individual farmers, P20.70 for cooperatives, and P14 per kilo for wet palay with 30 percent moisture content.

Since the NFA in Bulacan only has four available drying facilities that can dry a total of 400 bags per day, Camua urged the farmers to sell only clean and dry palay with 14 percent moisture content.

Piolito Santos, regional NFA director for Central Luzon, agreed with the suggestion of Camua. He is encouraging farmers to dry their produce first before they sell these to the grains agency or avail of the limited number of drying facilities and pay drying fee that ranges P60 to P80 per bag.

Santos confirmed to The STAR that their drying facilities in Central Luzon were not enough to accommodate the number of fresh palay that the farmers want to be dried at the grain agency’s facilities especially during the wet cropping season since the drying capacities of each NFA offices in the different provinces of Central Luzon could only accommodate around 300 to 400 bags per day.

Camua suggested that farmers bring first a sample of their produce so that the NFA could get its moisture content for the farmers to know they have passed the moisture content requirement of their produce.

He said they are also targeting to procure 200,000 bags of palay this month and to dispatch to the public 150,000 of imported rice in their warehouses.

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