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DA-NFA, Nueva Ecija gov’t intensify palay-buying

Author: DA Communications Group | 26 September 2020

Right at the heart of the country’s top rice-producing province, the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the National Food Authority (NFA), is intensifying palay-buying, in tandem with the provincial government of Nueva Ecija.

Standing against allegations that the government is inactive in its palay procurement activity, Agriculture Secretary William Dar committed to maximize all the NFA’s resources to improve its operations and procurement performance this main harvest season.

Patuloy ang pamimili ng NFA ng palay, sa halagang P19 per kilo, at 14 percent moisture content (MC),” said the DA chief, during his visit to Lupao and Muñoz, in Nueva Ecija on September 23, 2020, with NFA Administrator Judy Dansal.

He said the NFA also offers to buy palay right at the barangay.

“Further, we want to intensify this scheme of rolling over NFA’s limited funds so we can achieve a ‘double-multiplier’ effect. So, from its P10-billion procurement fund this year, it could buy P20 billion-worth of palay,” Secretary Dar said.

“We are also working to accelerate the modernization of the NFA’s drying and milling facilities so they could provide much-needed services for the benefit of our rice farmers,” he added.

For its part, the provincial government of Nueva Ecija, under the leadership of Governor Aurelio Umali, is rallying behind the DA, as it again allotted P2 billion this main harvest season to buy palay from its farmer-constituents.

“We thank Governor ‘Oyie’ Umali for once again heeding our call to complement our efforts in propping up the farmgate price of palay in this top rice-producing province,” said the DA chief.

Sa kasalukuyan, ang buying price namin ay mas mataas kaysa sa prevailing price ng mga trader. Kaya maraming mga magsasaka ang gustong magbenta sa amin,” said Bernardo Valdez, provincial agriculturist of Nueva Ecija.

Valdez added that their palay purchases are of good quality, as many of their farmers are able to meet NFA’s standards. This is made possible by the combined harvester-thresher that they have been using, courtesy of the DA.

Noong nag-start kaming bumili, nahatak naming pataas ang presyo ng palay. Kaya, malaking advantage kapag ang LGU ang namimili. Hindi napagsasamantalahan ng mga trader ang ating mga magsasaka,” Valdez said.

Last year, Nueva Ecija led all rice-producing provinces, with a total harvest of 1.95 million metric tons (MMT) of palay, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This represented 10.4 percent of the country’s total palay yield of 18.81 MMT in 2019.

For her part, NFA Administrator Dansal said they buy palay even those falling below the required 14% moisture content, and the buying price is computed in accordance with the current NFA equivalent net weight factor.

Secretary Dar reiterated his commitment to beef up the NFA’s buffer stocking capacity to 30 days from the current 15 days, which entails additional budgetary allocation for approval by Congress.

Finally, he urged NFA officials to increase their engagements with farmers’ groups on a regular basis so they can respond speedily in addressing their major concerns and needs. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)

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