The National Food Authority in Negros Occidental has deployed its warehouse supervisors to rice producing areas in the province to talk with farmers and request them to sell portions of their produce to the NFA for them to have a good buffer stock for the lean months, NFA provincial manager Procopio Trabajo II, said yesterday.
Trabajo said that if a large volume of palay produce goes to the traders, consumers have to expect high prices especially during the wet season starting July, which is also considered the calamity period because this is when typhoons usually start to enter the Philippines.
“If we leave the rice supply to the private sector, they might be taking advantage of the situation, thus, NFA has to have enough buffer stocks to provide relief goods to affected areas,” he said.
The NFA is also coordinating with individual farmers and farmers’ groups through its “Ugnayan Forum” to explain to them their procurement operations, he also said.
As of March 15, NFA has already procured 726 bags of rice. Trabajo however said, their procurement is not much because the buying price of the traders is still high compared to NFA.
“We do not mind it at all because NFA is the last buyer and ready market for farmers when buying price of the traders are too low. NFA also does not exist to compete with the traders,” he also said.
NFA is buying palay with 14 percent moisture content at P17 per kilo. Individual farmers get drying incentive of P0.20 and delivery incentive from P0.20 to P0.50 per kilo while farmers’ cooperative get an additional P0.30/kg for its cooperative development incentive fee, Trabajo added.*LTG