DA, NFA teams up to bring down price of rice
In a bid to bring down the market price of rice, the Department of Agriculture has directed the National Food Authority (NFA) to flood the market with their remaining 3.6 million bags of rice and raise palay support price from P17 to P19 per kilo clean and dry.
The measures were approved by the NFA Council during a press conference meeting at the Philippine Coconut Authority on September 12, 2019. DA secretary William Dar, who chairs the NFA Council, has instructed NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal to dispose of the stocks on or before October 10, 2019.
When sold at a retail price of P27 per kilo the 3.6 million 50-kilogram bags amount to P4.86 billion, which the NFA can readily use to procure from farmers.
Dar said the Council directed the NFA to flood Metro Manila and other markets nationwide with P27 per kilo of rice using its current stocks stored at NFA warehouses across the country. The 2-peso increase in palay price support can translate to P8,000 additional income per farmer, based on the current national average yield of 4 tons per hectare.
Earlier, Dar secured the commitment of 31 provincial local government units (PLGUs) to buy palay from their farmers directly.
The DA is also set to forge an agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in which the latter will give rice instead of the P600 cash to the beneficiaries of its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. The DWSD has the option to buy either from the PLGUs or from the NFA, providing farmers an assured market for their produce.
During the NFA Council meeting, NFA was also directed to undertake a comparative palay production cost study per region to come up with basis for a more responsive and precise rice and palay pricing policies to be set by the NFA Council.