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PIA Press Release

NFA Cotabato expects to exceed palay procurement target

Koronadal City (17 November) -- The National Food Authority Region XII is concentrating in palay procurement activities to ensure a buffer stock until the year ends.

NFA-Cotabato Provincial Manager Rey Salvatierra said, the instructions from higher officials particularly agriculture secretary Arthur Yap is for the National Food Authority (NFA) to procure 1 million metric tons of palay nationwide or translated into number of bags that would be 20 million bags.

Salvatierra said, out of the 20 million target, Region XII was given the quota of 1.4 million bags of palay to be procured by the provinces of Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.

Latest records show that out of the 1.4 million target, NFA XII has already procured about 900,000 bags of palay with about P800 million financial support requirement, he said.

As the agency's contribution to the economy of Region XII, NFA-Cotabato, he said, has already procured about 320,000 bags worth P3 million paid directly to farmers in the province.

We expect to procure the rest of the target of about 600,000 from hereon up to December this year, Salvatierra said.

But based on our ocular inspection of ricefields particularly in the towns of Pigcawayan, Midsayap and Kabacan, procurement of palay will continue as harvest season for palay will be extended up to January or February next year, the provincial manager said.

"So we expect to even exceed the target given to us," he enthused.

He also said that if the region would be able to procure the 20 million bags of palay, this would mean lesser dependence on imported rice.

This year, he noted that the government has imported some 2.4 million metric tons of rice in response to the recent rice crisis which hit many countries in the region including the Philippines.

The government would only need to import about half of what was imported this year if NFA would be able to procure the target of 20 million bags of palay, Manager Salvatierra added. (pbc/PICC) [top]

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