NFA prepares logistics for palay buying

MANILA With the forthcoming main crop harvest this October, the National Food Authority (NFA) has readied the funds and other logistical requirements for its palay buying activities.

NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said the food agency has sufficient funds ready for remittance to field offices to buy farmers' produce this cropping season.

Aquino has instructed the agency's field offices, especially in rice-producing areas, to be more aggressive in their palay buying strategies.

Do not wait for the farmers to bring their produce, but rather go out to the farthest and remotest barangays (villages) to buy their harvest, especially in areas where the prices offered by private traders are below the government support price, Aquino said in a news release issued Tuesday.

He also said the NFA's mobile procurement teams were already reactivated and are closely coordinating with farmers' organizations (FOs) and local government units to inform them about the agency's procurement scheme and incentives.

We have also simplified some of the requirements and the procurement process to encourage farmers to sell their produce to the agency, said Aquino.

Aside from the agency's mobile procurement teams that are ready for deployment anytime, there are 279 buying stations strategically positioned nationwide ready to accept palay deliveries from FOs and individual farmers, Aquino said.

As of Aug. 31, NFA has already procured a total of 75,753 bags.

The food agency's low procurement performance during the summer harvest was attributed to the high palay farm-gate price offered by private traders, ranging from PHP20 to PHP28 per kg. The buying support price of NFA remains at PHP17 per kg. for clean and dry, with additional incentives totaling PHP0.70 to PHP1 per kg. for delivery (PHP0.20 to PHP0.50 per kg.), drying (PHP0.20 per kg.), and cooperative incentive fee (PHP0.30 per kg.).

We are happy for our local farmers. They were the ones who have benefitted from the high price of palay, realizing higher incomes from their produce. NFA's presence in the market is meant to stabilize and not to compete directly with private traders. We are here to provide an alternative market for them when palay prices drop to prevent private traders from taking advantage of them, Aquino said. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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