State-run National Food Authority (NFA) has earmarked an initial P2.3 billion to finance rice procurement as the main harvest season opens.
The government is securing more funds to cover the additional procurements should the need arise, NFA OIC Director Tomas Escarez said in a statement.
The goal is to buy 2.6 million bags of palay from local farmers nationwide from September to December 2016, using the Cereal Procurement Fund (CPF).
The NFA’s buying price is P17 per kilogram (kg) to P17.70/kg, with individual farmers and farmer cooperatives nationwide qualifying for a P0.20/kg delivery incentive, P0.20/kg drying incentive, P0.30/kg Cooperative Incentive Fee.
“We shall be focusing our procurement operations on the 35 provinces across the country with surplus production identified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA),” Escarez said.
The NFA has 337 buying stations operated by 87 provincial and 15 regional offices.
In 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 the local market.
The NFA was created to protect the interests of rice producers and consumers. Its two primary mandates are to stabilize the price of rice and to ensure food security.