NFA targets to buy 615,985 MT palay for 2013

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NEWLY-installed NFA Administrator Orlan A. Calayag said the food agency shall continue its massive palay procurement strategies to achieve its target of 615,985 metric tons this year, even as he assured that the agency has enough supply of rice and food security buffer stocks.

Calayag said that the food agency hopes to reach its target volume through intensified local procurement instead of importing rice from outside sources. “For us to finally achieve rice self sufficiency, we need to help our local farmers produce more and provide a ready market for their produce,” Calayag said. He said that the food agency has enough funds to buy the farmers’ produce.

The NFA implements new procurement strategies to encourage more farmers to sell their harvest to the food agency instead of through private traders. The NFA lends empty sacks (MTS) to farmer organizations using their Cooperative Development Incentive Fund (CDIF); operates buying stations in far-flung areas where NFA’s chance of being able to buy is greater; coordinates with the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) and surveys areas where harvesting is on-going; and deploys mobile procurement teams especially in areas where ex-farm prices are low.

NFA buys clean and dry palay at P17 per kilogram with additional incentives such as graduated delivery fee up to a maximum P0.50/kg; drying incentive fee of P0.20/kg; and CDIF of P0.30/kg. “We need to give farmers a better deal so that they would be motivated to produce more,” Calayag said.

The NFA has simplified its requirements for selling palay to the agency so that it could serve palay farmers more efficiently. Individual farmers will simply submit a certification from either the LGU-Municipal Agriculture Office (LGU-MAO) or the Department of Agrarian Reform-Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (DAR-MARO) indicating the hectarage planted to palay and yield per hectare and whether the area cultivated is irrigated or not. Farmer applicants are issued farmer’s/master’s passbook free of charge. Farmers can go directly to NFA provincial offices or NFA satellite buying stations near their area.

Meanwhile, farmers’ cooperatives/associations or organizations need only to submit registration certificates from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any registration certificate from concerned government agencies. They should also submit a list of farmer-members certified by the LGU-MAO, whichever is applicable, indicating hectarage whether irrigated or not and the yield per hectare.

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