No hike in NFA buying price in bid to boost rice supply
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA), which was once under the DA until its transfer to the Office of the President, have listed several measures that officials of the two agencies said could lure farmers to sell rice to the government but increasing the NFA’s buying price appeared to be out of the picture.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said his department and the NFA, under administrator Jason Aquino, were expected to sign an agreement next week putting on paper the agencies’ cooperation in efforts to get more farmers to sell to the government amid a crisis in the NFA’s supply.
The coordinated effort, according to Piñol, had been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in a meeting in Malacañang last week.
The agreement would have the DA and NFA identify areas where the buying prices of palay were lower and not controlled by private traders and middlemen, Piñol said.
These would be the areas where the NFA would double efforts to buy rice from farmers, he said.
The deal would also require the DA to set up drying facilities in NFA’s buying stations which farmers could use for free provided that they sell their produce to the NFA.
The DA, according to the deal, would offer incentives fo farmers’ groups which would participate in the NFA procurement program.
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