More mobile palay buying stations up in Western Visayas
by A. Lumaque
Roxas City (21 August) -- The Western Visayas region will be among the areas designated for the National Food Authority's (NFA) additional mobile palay buying stations to make it more accessible for farmers to sell their produce to the agency.
The setting up of 51 more mobile palay stations nationwide is in line with President Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo's State of the Nation Address (SONA) commitments on ensuring rice sufficiency and raising rural incomes.
Sustained higher public investments in agriculture and fisheries in keeping with the President 's SONA thrusts have enabled the palay subsector to grow by 4.07% over the 2001-2007 period, or double the national population growth rate of 2.04%.
Higher spending on the intervention measures of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the NFA-part of it sourced from Mrs. Arroyo's "Katas ng VAT (Value-Added Tax" subsidy program-has enabled the government to raise national rice sufficiency from 87% in 2006 to a projected 93% this year and to pull down retail prices to as low as P32 a kilo amid the global rice price shock.
DA Secretary Arthur Yap said the additional mobile palay-buying stations, which will be on top of the food agency's 350 such stations scattered across paddy-growing provinces nationwide, will be located near production areas and is intended to support the NFA's intensive palay procurement program in the next four months.
Other designated areas for the mobile palay buying stations will be Central Luzon, Zamboanga Peninsula, Caraga and the Davao region. (PIA) [top]