NFA’s rice-procurement program gets P7-B budget

More from author

Bill widens entry to Tesda skills and development programs

TO help bridge the country’s skills gap, a lawmaker on Thursday filed a...

P44 billion in CHED budget for universal access

HE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has allocated P44.2 billion of its 2021 budget for the implementation...

Lawmaker asks DOJ, BI to issue HDO vs PhilHealth execs named in graft suit

A deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Department of Justice (DOJ)...

A member of the House Committee on Appropriations said last Sunday the national government has allocated P7 billion to enable the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy 388,889 metric tons (MT) of unhusked rice from farmers next year.

Rep. Johnny T. Pimentel of Surigao del Sur said the P7 billion is included in the 2018 P3.7-trillion national budget, which is set to be approved on Tuesday by the lower chamber.

“The fresh subsidy will allow the NFA to buy an extra 388,889 MT of unhusked rice, or palay, from local growers at P18 per kilogram. The supply will then form part of the country’s Strategic Rice Reserve,” Pimentel said in a statement.

Pimentel, also a chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, added the new funding is in accordance with President Duterte’s directive for the NFA to buy more locally produced rice.

Under the Strategic Rice Reserve, the NFA is mandated to keep stockpile rice equal to at least 15 days of national consumption at any given time, and equal to at least 30 days consumption by the start of the lean season on July 1 of every year.

After serving its purpose as stockpile, the lawmaker said the NFA then sells the rice to accredited outlets at P30 per kg to help keep retail prices down.

Next year Pimentel said the NFA intends to procure up to 1.2 million MT (MMT) of palay from local planters and distribute up to 1.35 MMT of rice.

Based on documents submitted to Congress, he said the NFA also indicated it may import another 580,050 MT of rice next year, if needed.

“Under the law, obtaining additional rice supplies from abroad is always an option, in case of calamities, fortuitous events, or shortfall in local production,” Pimentel said.

“But we would really prefer that the NFA buy as much palay as possible from local farmers, who are under tremendous pressure owing to the flood of rice supplies from abroad due to trade liberalization, as well as outright smuggling,” he added.

The NFA is targeting to purchase some 1.2 MMT of unmilled rice from farmers in 2018. The volume is significantly higher than the 255,000 MT the food agency is targeting to buy this year.

“Palay is a better buffer stock than milled rice because the NFA can store it longer and we can schedule the milling whenever we need to. Plus, we want to support our farmers,” NFA Spokesman Marietta J. Ablaza earlier told the BusinessMirror.

Citing NFA data, Pimentel said only 31 of the country’s 81 provinces are actually producing more rice than they are consuming.

In Luzon, he said, the “rice surplus” provinces are: Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga, IIocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan and Camarines Sur.

He added the surplus provinces in the Visayas, include: Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Biliran and Leyte.

“In Mindanao, the surplus provinces are Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Sur and Maguindanao”, Pimentel said.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More updates

Govt told: Give food subsidy to frontliners, jobless Pinoys

The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) to...
- Advertisement -

Digital agri sector to benefit local farmers, consumers–DA

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it would push for the digitalization of the country’s agriculture sector under the “new normal” to achieve its goals of reducing poverty and attaining food security. Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar told the recent 35th United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional...

Top US chicken producers sued on price-fixing claims by buyers

America’s top chicken producers were accused of inflating prices for over a decade, according to lawsuits filed by refrigerated-meal supplier in the United States, a supermarket chain and a convenience store operator. Bob Evans Farms Inc., Fresh Market and Wawa Inc. said producers including top three Tyson Foods Inc.,...

August inflation slows to 2.4%; Neda says agri supply chain key to keeping prices stable

BOOSTING the country's agriculture supply chain could help keep commodity prices nationwide stable in the coming months, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).  On Friday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said inflation slowed to 2.4 percent in August from the 2.7 percent posted in July....

Male farmworkers got bigger pay in 2019–PSA

Farmworkers nationwide received an average daily wage of P331.10 in 2019 and male laborers continued to outperform their female counterparts in terms of salary, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Data from the PSA showed that the average nominal wage rate of agricultural workers in...
- Advertisement -

In case you missed it