NFA chief leads palay procurement in Ecija

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    CABANATUAN CITY – In an effort to command a “fair value” for grains, the National Food Authority has positioned itself to procuring at least 1.266 million bags of palay this harvest season that is expected to peak in October and November, top ranking grains officials said.

    This as NFA Administrator Jessup Navarro and Region 3 Director Nicolas Crisostomo led the procurement teams in picking up bags of palay from two farmers who were among the first to harvest from Gapan City and the town of Penaranda on Tuesday.

    Crisostomo said the agency has allocated some P1.7 billion for intensified palay buying activities this season that has started this month.

    He said that with the expected bountiful harvest this year, farmers should be given support at the government set price of P17 per kilo for clean and dry grains. It also provides incentives to farmers’ groups or cooperatives, he added.

    Edelino Alejandro, NFA manager for Nueva Ecija, said that in the province alone, the agency has allocated P500 million to buy at least 500,000 bags of palay which is one third of the expected 1.5 million bags of harvest.
    The provincial office has already set up buying stations in the cities of Gapan, Cabanatuan and Munoz and the municipalities of Aliaga, Guimba, Talavera and Bongabon in addition to four mobile procurement teams, Alejandro said.

    The officials said NFA is giving out P1,800 for every 2,500 net kilos sold by any passbook holder. Crisostomo said that the targeted palay procurement will adequately complement the buying operations of private traders and maintain a profitable level of ex-farm prices.

    The said officials, along with deputy administrator for for operations Ludovico Jarina, purchased 197 bags of wet palay, amounting to 158,800 to include incentives of of P5,400 for three bags of fertilizers, from farmers Rodemin Fernando and and Thelma de Guzman in Gapan and Penaranda.

    For the region, Crisotomo said, the NFA has established 23 buying stations in the region to accommodate farmers who will sell their palay to the NFA. The NFA has also farmed out 10 mobile procurement teams to serve farmers in far-flung areas where ex-farm prices are showing a decreasing trend against the government support price.

    The agency also has mechanical dryers for wet palay deliveries during the rainy days. Farmers with wet stocks always, he said, would have a refuge even as they experience difficulties in selling their produce since private traders.

    Passbook holders are allowed to sell up to 50 cavans as first time delivery.

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