GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — The National Food Authority (NFA) in Region 12 has allocated around P300 million for its intensified palay procurement program until the end of the year.
Pangalian Busran, National Food Authority (NFA) Region 12 assistant director, said such allocation will mainly cover for their palay purchases during extended palay harvest season in the region that runs from August to December.
He said the NFA central office has set a procurement target of 4.6 percent of the projected palay harvests for each of their provincial offices in the area.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“That is just our benchmark (4.6 percent). We have no limit as to our palay purchases and we can later request for additional budget from the central office should we need to buy more,” Busran said in a press conference.
The official said they have instructed their provincial offices to intensify their procurement activities, especially during the expected peak of the palay harvest season from September to October.
The NFA’s subsidized palay buying price has remained at P17 per kilo and it provides additional incentives to individual farmers and farm-based cooperatives, organizations and associations.
Individual farmers are given an additional 40-centavo incentive to cover for the palay delivery and drying fees.
The agency provides an additional 70-centavo incentive to farmers’ cooperatives, organizations and associations for the drying and delivery fees as well as cooperative development incentive fund.
Amalia Jayag-Datukan, DA-12 regional executive director, said the region’s harvestable palay area from August to December is pegged at 193,789 hectares and is projected to yield 753,647 metric tons (MT).
From August to September, she said a total of 23,179 hectares of palay are due for harvest and is expected to yield 94,171 MT.
An additional 43,019 hectares with a projected yield of 173,795 MT will be harvested from September to October, she said.
From October to December, Datukan said they expect to harvest a total of 515,4576 MT of palay from 127,991 hectares of farmlands.
To cope with their targeted palay purchases, NFA-Sultan Kudarat manager Fernando Nunez said they are set to launch massive information and dissemination activities in the area regarding the agency’s palay procurement program.
He said they will also launch more community dialogues or “Ugnayan” to encourage more farmers to deliver their produce to the agency.
Nunez said they will also open more buying stations and warehouses to accommodate more farmers. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)