SouthCot releases P4-M to NFA to help stabilize corn price

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 June) —  The provincial government of South Cotabato has released some P4 million to the National Food Authority (NFA) to augment its procurement budget for the upcoming corn harvest season.

Reynaldo Legaste, South Cotabato provincial agriculturist, said the move is part of the local government’s efforts to help stabilize local corn buying prices before the onset of the harvest season later this month.

“The funds would be utilized by the NFA provincial office to purchase additional corn stocks from local farmers,” he said in a report released by the South Cotabato Information Office.
Legaste said that based on their monitoring, the commercial buying price of corn has remained low and has been fluctuating at around P12 to P13 a kilo.


With the augmentation fund, he said they expect the NFA to purchase more corn stocks until local corn prices would stabilize.


Based on its initial agreement with the NFA, Legaste said the local government will turn over the augmentation fund to the agency through a scheme similar to the Palay Assistance for Legislators and Local Governments Units or PALLGU program.


Out of the P4 million allocation, he said P2 million will be utilized to purchase corn from walk-in farmers while the remaining P2 million will be set aside for the produce of farmers who were recipients of farm machineries granted by the Department of Agriculture.


Like the PALLGU program, Legaste said the provincial government will offer a subsidy of additional P2.50 per kilo to local corn farmers on top of the prevailing buying price of P13 per kilo.


“The P15.50 per kilo buying price is very reasonable considering the increases in farm inputs and other production materials,” he said.


Angelina Lucena, NFA-South Cotabato assistant provincial manager, said they are currently preparing for the resumption of its “aggressive corn buying.”
She said they have initially deployed mobile procurement teams in the municipalities of Banga and Surallah in anticipation of the expected rise in the volume of corn harvests from the province’s upper valley area in the coming weeks.
The upper valley area comprises the municipalities of Surallah, Banga, T’boli, Lake Sebu, Sto. Nino and Norala.

Lucena said that based on the area’s cropping trend for corn, the area’s harvests will peak in late June and would continue until July.

NFA is presently buying white corn at a base price of P13 and an additional incentive of 40 centavos per kilo. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)