NFA appeals to local farmers to sell their palay to gov’t
As some areas in the country begin to harvest their palay, National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino is now appealing to the local farmers to sell their produce to the food agency to help beef up the government’s rice buffer stock.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) estimates that the summer crop this year will yield around 4.67 million metric tons of palay.
“If we can get at least 10 percent of this harvest, the NFA can continue to fulfill its commitment to relief agencies, local government, and may even bring back the P27.00 and P32.00/kilogram rice in the market,” Aquino said in a statement.
“Our food security mandate can only be fulfilled if we have sufficient buffer stock stored in our government warehouses to ensure that we have enough for our rice distribution to poor consumers and relief operations. Our daily rice consumption requirement is now at 640,260 bags of rice per day, and NFA should have at least 15 days equivalent of our rice requirement as prescribed by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC). That means we should have around 9.6 million bags at any given time,” he added.
While procurement is an all-year round activity for NFA, Aquino said the NFA from January to February this year has only procured 7,469 bags of palay so far from local farmers, mostly from the provinces of Antique, Nueva Vizcaya, Bukidnon, and Catanduanes.
NFA is buying palay from farmers at the government support price of P17.00 per kilogram, clean and dry, with additional incentives up to P1.00/kg for drying, delivery and cooperative development.
The Administrator said that although the NFA already made it easier for farmers to sell their palay to the agency, it is still difficult to attain its palay procurement target in the past years as palay traders had been buying at a higher price, ranging from P18.00/kg to as high as P22.00/kg.
The NFA’s buying price is pegged at P17.00/kg.