Palay procurement, production stable in Pangasinan
PANGASINAN (3 April) -- INSOFAR as rice procurement by the National Food Authority (NFA) in western Pangasinan is concerned, that part of the province is well served by the government's palay-buying program, and farmers as end-beneficiaries of the NFA price-subsidy program are all the more economically better off now.
Assistant Manager Cecilia Concubierta of Western Pangasinan branch said that while her area is categorized as "less critical" (more consumption that production) under the agency's categorization, procurement has been very stable. The branch has procured a total 81,713 bags of palay in 2006, or 58 percent of the target 140,000 bags. Such factors as the relatively high ex-farm prices, from P10.58 per kilogram to P12.21/kg or an average of P11.50 /kg, and the aggressive buying stance of traders and businessmen from outside the province due to strong palay demand affected the procurement program of the branch.
Concubierta noted however that such high ex-farm prices eventually benefited the farmers as they realized more income from their produce. Western Pangasinan, she said, is basically more of a consumption area, while eastern Pangasinan which is being served by the NFA branch in Binalonan town is basically a rice production area. She said that the branch has a better-than-average procurement rate in Malasiqui town and the cities of Alaminos and San Carlos. The warehouses in these areas have always registered stable procurement with the farmer-sellers fully availing of the price incentives especially during the lean months when not too many commercial palay buyers and traders are buying their produce.
In the case of eastern Pangasinan, where irrigation facilities and systems are comparably extensive, it is considered by NFA as a "surplus area" (production is much more than consumption), and farmers in the area do not have much problem with production. (PIA) [top]