BACOLOD City – The National Food Authority (NFA) is encouraging rice farmers in Negros Occidental to avail of the higher buying price of palay (unhusked rice) of PHP23 per kilogram (kg) being offered by the government.
Glenda Gonzales-Paz, provincial manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, said on Monday they are procuring palay in all buying stations across the province.
The PHP23 per kg is being offered for clean and dry palay at 14 percent moisture content.
Previously, the buying price was pegged at PHP19 per kg and then PHP4 has been added for buffer stocking incentive, making the current price at PHP23.
In Negros Occidental, the NFA has buying stations located in the cities of Bacolod and San Carlos and the municipalities of Valladolid and Ilog.
“We are buying all year round. As long as it is beneficial for farmers, we need to buy from them for our buffer stocks,” Gonzales-Paz said.
Since the PHP23 per kg buying price took effect on Sept. 20, the NFA-Negros Occidental has already procured about 6,000 bags of palay.
Gonzales-Paz said that after the NFA started procuring at PHP23 per kg, there are reports that some rice traders in the neighboring Panay Island have been buying palay by as much as PHP25 per kg to secure the farmers’ stocks.
“The bottom line is, it would be an advantage for farmers as they will have higher income,” she added.
In September, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who is the concurrent agriculture secretary, announced that the buying price of dry palay has been increased to PHP23 from PHP19, while wet palay will be from PHP16 to PHP19 to give Filipino farmers better income. (PNA)