Aside from this new rate, the NFA has added an incentive system that would grant 25 centavos to a farmer for every kilo of palay that he would deliver to any NFA offices.
"The cooperative where the farmer is a member will also get another 25 centavos per kilo incentive as part of the agency's Cooperative Development Incentive Fund program," he added.
He urged farmers to take advantage of the increase "that is timely in the wake of rising costs of fuel and various food commodities.”
"The National Government has seen the need to address the plight of our farmers who are suffering from the increase of basic goods caused by the series of hikes in fuel prices," Dela Cruz said.
"Moreover, the high cost of farm inputs has caused the decrease in the production income of the Filipino farmers." But a trade off in the incentives would be an increase in the price of?rice produced or imported by the NFA. Dianne Silva, NFA-Southern Mindanao assistant regional director, said that the agency's rice products would now be bought 25 centavo higher per kilo.
"The adjustment took effect only last Monday. The NFA is now selling well-milled local and imported rice at P16.75 per kilo to retailers while end consumers could have them at P18.25 per kilo," she said.
She noted the price increase in NFA rice was to offset "the social cost relative to the increase in buying price of palay."
Silva, however, said the price of NFA rice in the region was still relatively lower than those produced by private traders in the area.
Traders sell ordinary rice at between P20 to 22 per kilo and P23 to P25 per kilo for special varieties.
She added that buying price of palay by private traders was playing between P9 to P9.50 per kilo for wet and additional one peso for dry products.
The NFA rice is patronized mostly by low-income earners and Silva said this could be bought at accredited retail outlets inside major public markets as well as in "Tindahan Natin" outlets in various villages. (MindaNews)