THE National Food Authority, which is in the middle of a restructuring to focus on domestic rice purchasing and storage, will move to ease the requirements on farmers seeking to sell their output to the agency.
“Farmers who sell their rice produce to the National Food Authority (NFA) will no longer be required to present passbooks and will be paid in cash on the spot,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said in a Facebook post Sunday.
“The NFA buying stations will also buy from ‘walk-in’ farmers who would like to sell 5 to 10 bags of rice while “fresh” palay will be bought subject to adjustments on the P17 per kilo buying price based on the moisture content,” Mr. Piñol said.
According to Mr. Piñol, a P3.70 buffer stocking incentive will be given in addition to the cost of the rice per kilo regardless of the moisture content.
For every 4,000 kilos of rice, a farmer will also receive a bag of inbred seed from PhilRice suited to his planting area, Mr. Piñol said, noting that hauling of produce will be assisted by the NFA using trucks provided by DA.
“With the NFA buying farmers’ produce at a higher price than most private buyers, traders in connivance with some NFA workers are expected to take advantage by buying from the farmers in the remote areas at a very low price and reselling this to the government,” Mr. Piñol said.
“The NFA officials, however, were warned that those who will be involved in this racket will face administrative and criminal charges,” Mr. Piñol added.
When rice tariffication comes into force, the NFA is required to buy rice from farmers to maintain a buffer stock, while the private sector will be in charge of importing rice. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio