NFA-Bukidnon to go mobile in buying palay

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – Instead of just waiting for palay to be delivered to its grains centers, the National Food Authority will go to the farmers and buy their produce as private traders usually do.

Gil Tabor, NFA Bukidnon assistant provincial manager told reporters on Wednesday they are losing out to the traders who buy palay directly from farmers and at lower prices.

He announced that they have funding to buy at least 122,000 bags of palay for the year.

He said the NFA buys at P17 per kilo, the same price being offered by the traders.

But he said the traders would deduct 10 percent for moisture content such that farmers only get to earn P15.30 per kilo.

NFA, he said, will not make such deduction as it offers to be the one to dry the grains in their warehouses.

He said the NFA has already conducted a survey and identified the farmers expecting to harvest in the following months.

Tabor said they will initiate the mobile procurement in Malaybalay City where only a few farmers sell their produce to the NFA.

In other provinces, mobile procurement is done to cut farmers’ transport cost.

Alejandro Alesna, president of the Managok Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative welcomed the move as beneficial to palay farmers.

But he said the move is only a short-term remedy to the problems faced by farmers. He said in a separate interview that the government must consult all the time the farmers about their needs.

He said the government must provide among others sufficient livelihood support and provide loan packages to farmers so they won’t rely on financiers and loan sharks. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)