Gov’t asked to allocate budget for palay buying in Central Luzon
Farmer entrepreneurs have asked the government to allocate budget for the purchase of palay in Central Luzon as well as “adequate and uninterrupted funding” for the National Food Authority (NFA).
“Magalang po naming hinihiling sa inyong tanggapan na mapagkalooban ng sapat at tuloy tuloy na pondo ang NFA Bulacan . [We kindly request you to grant sufficient and continuous funding for NFA Bulacan],” said Federation of Central Luzon Farmers Cooperative (FCLFC) Chairman Simeon T. Sioson.
In FCFC’s letter to the Department of Agriculture, it said NFA has owed farmers for the purchased palay even before the May 13 national elections.
Sioson also said in a forum led by Philippine Chamber of Agriculture & Food Inc (PCAFI) President Danilo V. Fausto that farmers are already losing significantly from the decline in palay price since the ratification of the Rice Tariffication Act (RTA).
Palay’s farmgate price in some parts of Central Luzon had already dropped to P11 to P13 or even P10 per kilo since RTA, Sioson said. This brings farmers a loss of P5 per kilo from the price of P18 to P19 per kilo prior to RTA passage.
Fausto said that with the RTA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), government should be able to strengthen credit to farmers – meeting whatever financing need to help them upgrade into becoming entrepreneurs.