The National Food Authority (NFA) has intensified its buying operations nationwide as farmgate prices of palay slumped to as low as P14 to P16 per kilogram, or below the “profitable” level. NFA is buying at P17 to P17.70 per kilo.
NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay said he has already instructed field officials in Iloilo, Palawan, Sultan Kudarat, Antique, and Isabela—to go on a massive procurement scheme to provide farmers a better option.
“At least 413 buying stations nationwide are being used so farmers can sell their produce to the NFA. Mobile procurements are also ready to be deployed to remote areas where farmers may find it hard to transport their produce to NFA buying stations,” he said.
Dalisay said he issued the order even as the agency had already exceeded its procurement targets in these areas by as much as 131 to 346 percent.
“Farmers are welcome to sell their produce to the nearest palay- buying stations in their area. The NFA is ready to buy everything. We have sufficient funds to buy their palay produce,” he said.
The NFA’s buying price for palay is at P17/kg. It could rise to as much as P17.70/kg with the incentives offered to individual farmers and farmer cooperatives nationwide – including P0.20/kg delivery incentive, P0.20/kg drying incentive, P0.30/kg Cooperative Incentive Fee.
The NFA is targeting to procure 189,845 metric tons of palay from January to June this year. As of February 9, the state-run grains agency has already bought a total of 89,497 bags of palay.
For a complete list of palay buying outlets, the public may send their inquiries thru Text NFA hotline number 0906-4363133.
Over the past year, the NFA has relied on cheaper imported rice to replenish its buffer stocks since it could not compete with private millers and traders in buying locally grown palay.
Buying rice from abroad cuts the agency’s spending on buying and milling locally grown palay, and it can earn more and slash losses by selling to consumers at higher prices.
But with farmgate prices now dropping below profit level, the grains agency is now moving to stabilize the price of rice and to ensure continued planting for food security.