The National Food Authority (NFA) already surpassed its palay procurement target for the first half of 2019 with over 5 million bags bought since January this year, according to Atty. Judy Carol L. Dansal, the newly-appointed NFA Administrator.
NFA already surpassed its palay procurement target of 4.65 million bags for the first half of 2019.
“As of June 19, NFA has already procured 5,170,388 bags or 258,519.4 metric tons of palay. That means our agency has already exceeded our first half target by more than 11% already and we expect this to even go higher. This is a good sign that we will be able to meet our buffer stocking requirement by yearend,” Dansal said.
Dansal, a former NFA career executive herself, who served as Deputy Administrator for Marketing Operations until December last year was appointed by President Duterte to head the agency earlier this week.
“The implementation of RA 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law removing NFA’s rice importation function, and repealing its regulatory powers over the grains industry, forced the agency to refocus its function on buffer stocking. Since the law says we can buy only from local farmers, we have stepped up our procurement. We are glad that our agency is performing well and even exceeding our targets,” Dansal said.
The Administrator said NFA palay procurement is still mostly from surplus areas like Mindoro, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Bulacan, Cagayan, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat. Even with the summer crop already winding up, NFA was still able to buy a total of 401,847 bags of palay in the first two weeks of June, easily surpassing the agency’s target of 261,000 bags for the month by 54%.
According to Provincial Manager Jhun Guinto of NFA San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, the top procuring branch this year, their branch was able to buy more palay from farmers compared to previous years because of the increased buying price of NFA, coupled with the continuous drop in palay buying price by private rice traders.
“In our area known as SAMARICA covering the four municipalities of San Jose, Magsaysay, Rizal, and Calintaan which has an estimated production of 1.5 million bags per cropping season, NFA is buying almost 40% of the palay produce of farmers. This year, we have already procured 596,291 bags,” Guinto said.
NFA started implementing last October 2018 a Buffer Stocking Incentive (BSI) of P3.00 per kilogram on top of the previous P0.20/kg drying, P0.20/kg delivery, and P0.30/kg Cooperative Development Incentive Fee. This raised the agency’s maximum buying price for palay from P17.40/kg for individual farmers and P17.70 for members of farmer cooperatives/organizations to P20.40/kg and P20.70 per kg, respectively.
Administrator Dansal also added that she is pleased to learn that NFA is now able to buy more from farmers as the agency is currently preparing for the onset of the lean months starting July to September when harvest is only sporadic and natural calamities hit the country.
“Without government rice importation, it is very timely that we are able to beef up our stocks. We will have sufficient supply of good-quality rice for the requirements of government relief agencies and local government units in any emergency or calamity that traditionally hit the country during the lean months,” Dansal said.
“Hopefully, this will lead to more procurement for us to eventually meet our buffer stocking requirement of rice supply good for 15-30 days or 15 to 30 million bags,” Dansal added.