NFA retains P8.5-B for main harvest procurement
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (5 August) -- The government is setting aside billions of pesos for palay procurement this harvest season nationwide.
National Food Administrator Jessup Navarro disclosed that the food agency is allotting some P8.5 billion to finance an aggressive palay buying for the October to December main harvest season.
The NFA is targeting to buy 10 million bags of palay until the end of the year with a 2.5 million bags palay target per month starting September, Navarro said.
With the recent granting of additional incentives to farmers who opt to sell their palay produce to the NFA, Navarro is confident that the agency will meet its procurement target.
He added that the government has also increased its buying incentives to encourage farmers to sell their produce to the NFA.
Navarro stressed that effective last April, the buying price of palay has already reached P17.00 per kilogram for clean and dry palay.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap earlier explained that under the government's incentives program, farmers who can supply 50 sacks or up to 500,000 metric tons of rice to the NFA will be given P1,800 (per 50 sacks) as rebate, which the farmers can use to purchase fertilizers and other farm needs.
Yap said that President Arroyo has ordered that the DA will give P1,800 production support (per 50 sacks) for the dry crops because the price of fertilizers has gone up considerably.
In Capiz, NFA Information Officer Edna Artates revealed that the food agency here has more than P12 million palay procurement fund for its 15,000 bags palay target before the year ends.
Despite the recent typhoon that hardly hit the province, Provincial Manager Gil Ibarra expressed confidence that the agency will even exceed its procurement target with the granting of additional incentives to farmers, Artates said.
Meanwhile, Navarro said that mobile procurement teams are now being put up to give support to the 288 stationary buying stations nationwide.
He pointed out that the mobile procurement teams serve farmers in remote and far-flung areas who find it hard to deliver their produce to the NFA. (PIA) [top]