The Department of Agriculture (DA) is urging rice farmers in Central Luzon to sell their palay (unhusked rice) to the National Food Authority (NFA), which buys grains at a higher price.
DA Secretary William Dar, in his visit to Magalang town, this province on Monday for the inauguration of the Research Outreach Station, said NFA which is under the DA, started procuring dry palay at PHP19 per kilo this month.
“NFA is buying dry palay with 14 percent moisture content at PHP19 per kilo,” Dar said.
He said he earlier received reports that farmers could not sell their palay as private rice traders were offering to buy their produce at only PHP11 per kilo.
“I am now telling them to connect with NFA. The NFA is buying all the palay produce now for buffer stocking. They have the capacity to buy more,” he said.
Dar particularly cited the NFA-Tarlac which has the capacity to buy some 500,000 bags of dry palay.
At present, he said the NFA-Tarlac has only procured 28,000 bags of the grains.
The secretary also said that he instructed the NFA to immediately mill the palay then sell it to local government units (LGUs) or the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and subsequently roll over the amount and to buy more from farmers.
“What they can buy now, they will mill and then sell, to buy more. So that is what we will do,” Dar said.
Likewise, he encouraged farmers to go to their cooperative/association which will coordinate with NFA in selling their produce.
Meanwhile, NFA-Region 3 Director Elvira Obaña said they target to buy a total of 1,747,700 bags of palay from farmers in Central Luzon starting this month until the end of the year. (PNA)