July 12, 2019
Palay procurement for June reached 626,100 bags, up 140 percent from the 261,000 bags targeted by the agency, the National Food Authority (NFA) said on Thursday.
In a statement, NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said the development came even if the summer harvest ended last month.
She also cited the continued intensified palay procurement of the NFA, which gives P3.70 incentive per kilo to local farmers for a total of P20.70 per kilo buying price for clean and dry paddy rice.
“With a very high rate of procurement during the previous months, we were able to raise the NFA’s total palay procurement for the first half of 2019 to 5.412 million bags. In total, our palay procurement is 16 percent higher than our 4.649 million target during the first six months this year,” said Dansal, who was named new NFA administrator last June 18.
The NFA raised its buffer stock a month before the start of the traditional lean months, she added.
“It is very favorable because the agency is now preparing for the lean months, from July to early September, and for calamities that may hit the country during the rainy season. The Rice Liberalization Law still mandates us to ensure at least 15-30 days of buffer stock and since the agency cannot already source its stock through rice importation, it is fortunate that our agency is performing well in procuring palay from our own farmers and that we were able to meet our mandated level of buffer stock,” Dansal explained.
The passage of Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law removed NFA’s rice importation function and repealed its regulatory powers over the grains industry.
Under the liberalized rice trading scheme, the NFA will no longer be allowed to import rice as its role was confined to buffer-stocks management for emergencies and calamities through buying palay solely from local farmers.
Meanwhile, as part of the grains agency’s preparation for the lean season, Dansal said NFA field offices with palay stocks were told to start milling.
“I have directed our field offices that at the onset of the lean months, we must ensure availability of rice stocks ready for release anytime, during the occurrence of a calamity or disaster. We have started milling our palay stocks bought from local farmers to have sufficient rice stocks to cover our requirement for emergencies,” she said.
“We have to efficiently manage our stocks properly, both to ensure our financial stability, and to see to it that by the time the main crop harvest starts in September until December, we will be ready again to serve our clients. We must be able to sustain our procurement operations with sufficient logistics, especially warehouse spaces to store the stocks that we will be continuously procuring from our farmers,” Dansal added.
For 2019, the NFA is targeting to procure about 7.78 million bags or 389,000 metric tons of locally-produced palay.
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