The National Food Authority (NFA) in Western Visayas will procure the remaining 800,000 bags of palay, or unhusked rice, until the end of the year, its regional manager, Dianne Silva, said.
“We were given a catch-up plan to procure another one million bags for July to December so that is about 300,000 bags, higher than our target for the year,” she said in a press release.
NFA administrator Judy Dansal has also instructed the regional office to procure another 500,000 bags of palay on top of the catch-up plan, she added.
With the P15.06 per kilogram prevailing buying price of palay in Western Visayas, based on the October 8 monitoring report, rice farmers in the region were advised to dry their palay and sell them directly to NFA to avail of the support price of P19 per kilogram.
From January to October 8, the agency had procured a total of 1,278,452 bags of palay, with bulk of the procurement coming from the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.
Silva said that about 30,000 to 35,000 bags are procured daily by the NFA Region 6, adding that in September, Western Visayas was second to Cagayan Valley with the highest volume of palay procured from the local farmers.
NFA Region 6 has 727,369 bags of buffer-stocked rice, which are enough for 12 days of consumption should there be occurrences of natural disasters in the region, she said.
Western Visayas has recorded 753,832 metric tons of palay production in the first semester of the year, which is 12 percent higher than last year’s volume of production.
Remelyn Recoter, director of the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas, said more than 50 percent of rice production areas in the region are yet to be harvested.
However, the lack of drying facilities in the region has hindered the farmers from delivering their palay to NFA, she said, adding that the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization will reach out to other farmer cooperatives and associations in the region to provide them with machinery support.*