BALANGA CITY: The increase in the price of palay by rice traders has made farmers happy, the National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office here said Wednesday.
NFA provincial manager Adelaida Nuestro said rice merchants have aggressively bought palay since the start of harvest last March, resulting in the higher price of grains.
From P15 – P18 per kilogram, Nuestro said rice traders hiked the price to P19 – P22, giving farmers the chance to recover their losses during the previous harvest.
NFA provincial information officer Coco Reyes said the agency still procures palay from farmers at P17 per kilogram with incentives for drying, transportation and cooperatives.
Maribeth Magcaling, NFA provincial operations officer, said the traders wanted to replenish stocks that were depleted because of the recent typhoons, leading to the increase in palay prices.
“Their desire to procure more resulted in stiff competition,” she said.
The good quality of newly-harvested palay this season also paved the way for the merchants’ willingness to buy palay at a higher price, Magcaling said.
Conrado Sebastian, president of Bataan Grains Retailers Association, said his co-farmers in Dinalupihan town were pleased with the new price of palay.
“This encourages us to plant more palay to ensure that there will be more than enough supply of palay and rice in the market,” he said.
However, NFA admitted that the increase in the price of palay could trigger higher rice prices in the market.
“To prevent this, the agency is strictly monitoring and ensuring the availability of NFA rice in all public markets in the province,” Nuestro said.
Three varieties of NFA rice are sold at P27, P28 and P32 per kilogram.