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Sunday, June 23, 2024

NFA starts buying palay to boost buffer stocks

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The National Food Authority (NFA) began aggressively buying palay at higher prices on Monday, seeking to boost buffer stocks. 

The NFA council recently raised the agency’s buying price at a range of P17 to P23 for fresh or wet palay and P23 to P30 for clean and dry palay. 

“This new pricing scheme will mark a new era for NFA palay buying,” said NFA acting administrator Larry Lacson.

“This is unique in a sense that different provinces will have different prices depending on the conditions in the province such as prevailing farm gate price, remaining harvest, and most importantly the target palay procurement for the area,” he added.

Clean and dry palay must be at least be 90 percent pure with a moisture content of 14 percent or less, while fresh/wet palay is acceptable at a moisture range of 22 to 29.9 percent.

Previously, buying prices ranged from P16 to P19 per kilo for fresh/wet palay and P19 to P23 per kilo for clean and dry.

Lacson said the new pricing scheme marks a significant shift in NFA’s palay buying strategy. 

The NFA abandoned a single pricing system to better compete with private traders and support local government efforts to improve farmers’ income. 

The Rice Tariffication Law limits the NFA to buffer stocking for emergencies, requiring them to maintain 300,000 metric tons (MT) rice reserve, enough for approximately 9 days of consumption. 

Lacson said the NFA will sustain its mandate to secure sufficient supply amid persistently high farm gate prices.

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