NFA hikes palay inventory

May 23, 2024 Cory Martinez 127 views

THE National Food Authority (NFA) increased its palay inventory within a month following its decision to raise the palay buying price.

In a recent NFA Council meeting, the NFA reported since the approval of the higher buying price for palay, the agency has procured an additional 2.41 million 50-kilo bags as of May 15.

Between January 1 to April 15, NFA has only procured a total 142,244 bags of palay.

On April 11, the NFA Council increased the procurement price per kilo of palay to P23 to P30 for clean and dry palay from P19 to P23 while the buying price for fresh and wet increased to P17 to P23 from P16 to P19.

The increase allowed the NFA to compete with private traders in order to build its buffer stock. The agency started buying palay at higher prices on April 17.

The last time palay buying price increased was in September 2023. “The new price scheme is really the game changer,” NFA acting administrator Larry Lacson said.

“I think the NFA Council’s strong understanding of NFA’s challenges has resulted in stronger collaboration. We thank Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. and the Council for this,” Lacson said.

In all, a total of 2.5 million bags of palay have been bought from Jan. 1 to May 15, representing 82.76 percent of the 3.08 million target for the period.

“We’re still aiming to hit that target since there are other areas like Bulacan where farmers haven’t completed their rice harvest,” Lacson added.

“Farmers I spoke to were very happy with this initiative of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to help farmers increase their income,” he said.

As of May 15, the amount of milled rice has reached a total 111,720 metric tons or 14.6 percent higher for the same period last year. He said the rice stocks would have been higher if not for disbursements for assistance to El Nino-affected areas.