NFA-South Cot assures enough funds for palay procurement

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/21 September) – The National Food Authority (NFA) in South Cotabato today assured it has enough funds to
accommodate the possible surge in palay deliveries to its buying stations in the coming weeks due to the drastic drop in the buying prices of palay by private traders in the area.

Angelina Lucena, NFA-South Cotabato assistant provincial manager, said their latest monitoring showed that the buying price in the area has
dropped to as low as P12 per kilo since last week as the harvest season reaches its peak.

“We’re ready for the possible influx of palay deliveries and we have a standby allocation of P5 million under our palay procurement program,”
she said.

Aside from the standby funds, she said they expect additional funds for their palay procurement to come in on a weekly basis based on a
request they submitted to the NFA central office.

Lucena said they already opened four buying stations in Koronadal City as well as in Norala and Surallah towns in South Cotabato last
September 16, in time for the projected peak of the palay harvests.

She said their buying stations are currently accepting palay deliveries from members of accredited farmers’ organizations and cooperatives at P17.70 per kilogram, inclusive of drying, transport and cooperative development incentives.

But she said individual farmers may also avail of the subsidized buying rate at P17.40 per kilogram.

She said individual farmers only need to apply for accreditation at their office and comply with basic requirements to avail of the higher
palay buying prices being offered by the NFA.

“We have not set a ceiling for their palay procurement and assured that they will find means to accommodate all palay deliveries to our
buying stations,” she said.

Meantime, South Cotabato Provincial Agriculturist Reynaldo Legaste said they have been closely monitoring the movement of palay buying
prices being set by private traders to protect the local farmers.

He said they have monitored that some private traders have already slashed their buying prices to between P12 and P12.50 per kilogram for
palay products under lower classification or those considered partially damaged.

“So far, most traders are still buying those classified as of good quality at higher or reasonable prices,” Legaste said.

But he said they have been advising local farmers to deliver their palay harvests to NFA buying stations instead of the private traders
to avail of the higher and subsidized buying prices.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist earlier projected a total palay harvestable area of 10,000 hectares in the province for this
month alone.

It said the peak of the palay harvests in the area is expected to continue until late next month. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)