MANILA, Philippines – The National Food Authority (NFA) was able to buy more palay, or unhusked rice, from farmers in the 1st quarter of 2019 at 1.26 million bags, higher than the 20,540 bags bought during the same period in 2018.
NFA Officer-in-Charge Tomas Escarez said in a statement that for the month of March alone, the state grains agency was able to procure 990,783 bags of palay. (READ: Rice inventory up in February 2019 from a year ago)
“We are not surprised though, because March is the start of the summer crop harvest and we were able to capitalize on our higher incentives versus the low buying price of palay traders,” Escarez added.
“While traders reduced their buying price to as low as P14 per kilogram (kg), we on the other hand increased our buying price up to P20.70 per kg for clean and dry palay.” (READ: No more cheap NFA rice in 2019 – Piñol)
In October 2018 the NFA already implemented its buffer stocking incentive, which adds another P3 per kg. Prior to this, the NFA was already adding P0.20 per kg for drying, P0.20 per kg for delivery, and another P0.30 for cooperative incentive fee.
Most of the palay were purchased from farmers in Isabela at 152,551 bags, then Nueva Ecija with 128,827 bags. Tarlac and Occidental Mindoro followed with 127,782 bags and 109,358 bags, respectively.
The NFA is eyeing to procure 14.46 million bags this year.
“[The] NFA will continue to serve our farmers by buying their produce to ensure a reasonable return for their harvest especially now that farmers are suffering from the effects of El Niño and private traders are buying low,” Escarez said. (READ: El Niño’s crop damage has no ‘adverse impact’ on national production – DA) –Rappler.com