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PIA Press Release

NFA Negros buys palay at P17; to send out mobile palay-buying teams

Negros Occidental (21 August) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) here is already implementing the P17 per kilo of palay, the support price set by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo early this year which was reiterated during her 8th State of the Nation Address recently.

The P17 per kilo support price is almost 50 percent higher than the previous rate of P12 per kilo.

NFA is buying a clean and dry palay at 14 percent moisture content and a minimum of 95 percent purity.

Manuel Castaņares, NFA Assistant Provincial Manager said that two mobile palay-buying teams will be dispatched in the next two weeks to augment the 3 existing stationary buying stations of the agency.

Three stationary buying stations are currently located at the Dangcalan Warehouse in the Municipality of Ilog to cater farmers from the south; Napro Warehouse in San Carlos City for farmers in the north and for central Negros and for areas like Bago City and Valladolid, farmers are selling their palay produce at the Shuttler's Warehouse in Bacolod City.

The mobile teams are supposedly scheduled to be lauched on September but NFA decided to conduct the mobile procurement earlier to accommodate the sporadic harvests in areas of Bago City and Payao and other parts of Binalbagan.

Nationwide, NFA is setting up 51 more mobile palay-buying stations in time for the main or wet harvest season to make it more accessible for farmers to sell their produce to the agency in line with the commitment of the national government to ensure rice sufficiency and raise rural incomes.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said that the additional mobile palay-buying stations, many of which will be in Central Luzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Caraga and Davao region, is on top of NFA's 350 stations scattered across paddy-growing provinces which will support the agency's intensive palay procurement program in the next four months.

In Negros Occidental, NFA has P3.5 million procurement fund for 2008.

Reports also reached NFA-Negros Occidental that the prices of palay is going down from P12 to P9 per kilo so there is a need for the government's intervention to help the farmers.

"A farmer's passbook must be secured from the NFA for farmers selling more than 100 bags of palay (minimum) although the mobile palay-buying teams will accommodate walk in farmers with less than 100 bags of palay,"Castaņares added. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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