DA to deploy buying trucks to intensify local palay procurement
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said farmers who will sell their paddy rice to the National Food Authority (NFA) will not only enjoy a higher buying price of P20.70 per kilo but will also get incentives like seeds, loans, farm equipment and free trucking from the farm to the buying station.
With the Rice Tariffication Act expected to be signed by President Rody Duterte soon, the NFA will no longer buy imported rice. Instead, it will buy locally produced rice for buffer stocking.
For this year, the NFA has P7 billion for its local paddy rice procurement which could be rolled over to the next harvest season.
Piñol said the problems confronting farmers in dealing with NFA now include the lack of drying facilities, the delayed payments, and the inability of the agency to bring their buying operations to the field.
To address these problems, NFA will deploy mobile procurement trucks to pick up farmers’ produce at the farm level with the DA lending hauling trucks to the NFA. This is to intensify local palay procurement.
The DA, which is now NFA’s mother agency, will also open a credit program for farmers who will sell their produce to the NFA at 6 percent interest per year through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.
The agency will likewise establish drying facilities in NFA buying stations which farmers could use for free or which NFA could use in drying freshly harvested paddy rice from farmers.