NFA beefs up funds for palay procurement

March 21, 2012 1:44 am 

MANILA, March 20 — State-run National Food Authority (NFA) has beefed up funds for its local palay procurement as the summer harvest season starts, a senior official said on Tuesday.

NFA administrator Angelito Banayo said that under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), the grains agency plans to buy 1.248 million metric tons (MT) of palay from local farmers this year.

Banayo, however, stressed that NFA can only attain as much as half of their target or around 519,675 MT of palay due to limited resources.

“That is the most attainable target considering limited budget on hand, based on the palay procurement subsidy given by the national government and the sale of rice stocks in NFA warehouses,” he said,

Banayo said the government is hard-pressed to meet the rice procurement target of 1.247 million MT, saying that the NFA would need at least P22 billion to buy the said volume from local farmers.

“We can only generate as much as P10.5 million for this year’s palay procurement, including the P4 billion subsidy from the national government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Banayo said they plan to buy bulk of the palay harvests during the rainy season.

“Usually, summer crop has very good quality, so farmers can sell their palay between P18 to P18.50 to private traders. It looks like our buying will be heavier during the rainy season because that's when we are needed,” he said.

Under the food security roadmap, the NFA plans to buy 1.248 million MT of palay in 2012 at a buying price of P17 per kilo plus P0.70 for farmers group, P0.20 delivery fee and P0.20 drying fee for individual farmers.

The NFA buys palay from local farmers to ensure stability of farm-gate prices of the staple.

This year’s procurement target doubles the 280,000 MT of palay bought by the agency in 2011. It will be the second largest palay procurement by the NFA. In 1979, the government purchased more than 700,000 MT of rice, the largest palay procurement in history.

For 2012, the DA targets to produce 18.46 million MT rice, and more than 20 million MT by 2013 to attain rice self-sufficiency.

Last year, the country managed to harvest 16.68 million MT of rice despite strong typhoons, which is 5.8 percent higher than the 15.77 million MT produced in 2010. (PNA)



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