July 18, 2024

The National Food Authority said it had already reached 97 percent of its target palay procurement for the first half of the year with the new pricing scheme.

This is equivalent to 2.93 million bags of palay, which is close to the NFA’s 3.08 million bags target purchase.

“We’re now at 97 percent of our buying target for the first half with the whole month of June left. Farmers in several provinces in northern Luzon have yet to complete their harvest and they’ve appealed to the NFA to continue with our procurement,” NFA Acting Administrator Larry Lacson said in a statement.

Through the higher buying price range, the NFA was able to purchase dry and clean palay for P23 to P30 per kilogram and P17/kg to P23/kg for fresh and wet palay.

The NFA also designated a fast lane for farmers selling palay not exceeding 50 bags.

Lacson added the NFA will also start milling its stock to free up space in NFA warehouses, and fulfill the 500,000 rice bags requirement of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“Our problem now, and it is a pleasant one, is that we are running out of space in our warehouses, especially in Region 2,” he said.

Agriculture Sec. Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., meanwhile, was pleased over the increased rice procurement.

“We are pleased that the NFA Council’s decision has resulted in a significant increase in our rice buffer stock, especially with the onset of the typhoon season,” he said.

The NFA targets to meet a total of 300,000 metric tons of rice for the country’s national buffer stock.

Laurel vowed to continue exploring ways to reduce the retail prices of rice for consumers, in line with the food security targets of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. – PNA