DA-NFA intensifies palay-buying to maintain prices, assure farmers bigger earnings

Author: DA Communications Group | 15 September 2020

Agriculture Secretary William Dar assures farmers nationwide that the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the National Food Authority (NFA), will intensify its palay procurement and will even take the “extra mile” by picking up their produce right at their respective barangays.

“We will continue to buy palay as high as P19 per kilo, at 14 percent moisture content, from our farmers to assure them of bigger earnings, and if need be pick up their produce at a designated area in their barangay,” said Secretary Dar during an impromptu meeting with farmer-leaders, who are selling their palay at the NFA warehouse in Tarlac City on September 14, 2020.

“We have instructed NFA offices nationwide, through Administrator Judy Dansal, to offer transport services for farmers who cannot deliver their produce to the agency’s warehouses, and likewise avail of its drying facilities,” said Secretary Dar, who concurrently chairs the NFA Council.

One farmer-leader said that through the years the DA and NFA have been a big help, providing them assured and bigger income by buying their palay at a higher price than those offered by traders.

Malaki po ang naitulong ng DA at NFA sa amin. Kaya po kami nagbebenta sa NFA dahil mataas ang presyo. Ramdam namin ang malaking kita at nakatulong pa kami sa local procurement ng NFA. Lagi ko din hinihikayat ang iba pang grupo ng mga magsasaka na magbenta sa NFA by means of social media at during meeting sa MAFC at PAFC,” said Aldrin Cardenas, an engineer, and president of Sawat Overseas Workers and Family Association (SOWFA), based in Camiling, Tarlac.

Cardenas said his group is also selling rice, in partnership with the DA-Kadiwa marketing program, to several outlets in Metro Manila since 2016.

Another farmer-leader said their farmers’ cooperative has been selling their palay to NFA for two decades now and counting.

Simula noong year 2000, hanggang ngayon, nagbebenta kami ng aming palay sa NFA dahil mas mataas ang presyo kumpara sa mga trader. Kaya mas malaki ang aming kita. Dahil dito sinusuportahan namin ang programa ng Department of Agriculture na palakasin ang pambansang rice industry,” said Cesario Tabago, another engineer, and president of Sapang Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Tarlac.

His group, with 800 farmer-members, is considered the top palay seller in the province, said NFA Tarlac Provincial Manager Meann Cenon.

She said the average daily procurement of NFA Tarlac is at 7,000 bags of palay, as of September 14, and they will buy more in coordination with the respective municipal agriculture offices, farmers’ groups, and barangay local government units in Tarlac.

The warehouses at NFA Tarlac has a total capacity of 550,000 bags of 50 kg each, Cenon added.

For her part, 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 till yearend.

To optimize the agency’s palay procurement fund, Secretary Dar has instructed the NFA to immediately mill the palay then sell it to LGUs or DSWD, and subsequently roll-over the amount and to buy more from farmers, thus creating a multiplier effect.

Finally, the DA chief once again calls on the governors of top 12 rice-producing provinces to help NFA buy palay direct from their farmer-constituents, and thus stabilize prices.

The provinces include Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Iloilo, Camarines Sur, Tarlac, Negros Occidental, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, and Leyte.

Last year, they produced more than 9.74 million metric tons (MMT) of palay, comprising more than one-half of the country’s total harvest of 18.8 MMT.

“Their direct procurement will significantly shore up the national average farmgate price of palay, thus helping more farmers,” said Secretary Dar.

Last year, 33 LGUs have rallied behind the DA, propping up palay prices nationwide.

During the visit to NFA Tarlac provincial office, Secretary Dar was joined by DA Region 3 Director Crispulo Bautista. ### (Gumamela Bejarin, DA-AFID/StratComms)


Director Elvira Cruz Obaña
NFA Region 3
09171448343 09228340630

Ms. Meann Cenon
NFA Tarlac Provincial Manager

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