VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon, Nov. 12 — The National Food Authority (NFA) tackled various issues on Palay (unhusked rice) procurement as the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) launched the Information Caravan on Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program at Jocel’s Garden in Valencia City.
NFA Bukidnon Manager Beverly M. Navarro said NFA is now buying clean and dry palay at P19.00 per kilo, which is higher than the grain traders’ prevailing buying price of only P14.00 to P16.00 a kilo.
In the open forum with media partners, Navarro was asked on NFA’s alleged lack of warehouses or storage facilities as local farmers now flock to NFA for palay deliveries as the agency hikes its buying price.
Explaining the agency’s policies and procedures on palay procurement, she said that in the acceptance of rice deliveries, each warehouse supervisor and procurement team leader maintains a logbook to record palay arrivals and the “first-come, first-served” priority is strictly observed.
“To make the intake process in the procurement system fair to the farmers, the main office has not accommodated any special request even by personalities in government or other sectors. I’m certain that our procurement teams are doing the best they can to accommodate palay deliveries and at the same time observing quality standard management of stocks as these will be stored as buffer stocks,” Navarro said.
She urged the general public to report to NFA any irregularities noticed or detected in the procurement operations.
“We already anticipated complaints from local farmers because everybody wants to be prioritized. The present volume of palay deliveries is unimaginable. In October last year, we only procured 7,000 bags—for the entire month. But now, just this month of October, we procured 143,000 bags. There was a day that we procured 10,000 bags,” she said.
On the warehouse space issue, Navarro said some stocks from Aglayan and Valencia will be sent for milling in order to accommodate more palay deliveries.
Navarro also stressed that NFA’s palay buying price of P19.00 per kilo is still good for this harvest season.
She said this shall be reviewed based on the results of the NFA Council which is commissioned to study the agency’s buffer stocking. (Hazel B. Belacho/NFA-R10)
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