THE National Food Authority (NFA) has implemented a new system for setting its purchasing price for palay or unmilled rice, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a statement issued by the DA, the NFA released a new Equitable Net Weight Factor table, which measures the grain’s moisture levels, damage, and coloration to determine a buying price.

“(This) corresponds to the reference for the pricing scheme based on the moisture content (MC), purity, and damaged and discolored grains parameters in the classification of palay,” it said.

The NFA council last week set new purchase price ranges for dry and wet palay of P19-P23 and P16-P19 per kilogram, respectively.

The previous buying price for domestic rice was P16 per kilo for wet and P19 per kilo for dry palay.

NFA Administrator Roderico R. Bioco told reporters on Tuesday that the agency has sufficient funding to purchase domestically grown palay in fulfilment of its mission to maintain a buffer stock of rice.

“We have enough (funds) for this season; if need be, we also have a large credit line from (Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines,)” Mr. Bioco said.

“That credit line is more than enough for our requirements, because the President’s target is (to build a reserve of) at least 10 to 15 days’ demand and even more, up to 30 days. We have the resources to do that,” he added.

He said that the NFA is currently disbursing funding to its buying stations for them to start procuring palay.

The NFA maintains a network of 267 palay buying stations.

“At this time of the year, inventory is expected to drop… including (stocks held by) NFA. That is why we replenish it,” he said. — Adrian H. Halili