Monday, April 13, 2009
NFA will prefer palay from CS in procurement program.
The government will give priority to palay from farmers who will shift from inbred seeds to certified seeds (CS) and those who will shift from CS to hybrid seeds under its palay procurement program for 2009.
The National Food Authority (NFA) said the bulk of the 1 million metric tons (MMT) of paddy rice it is targeting to procure this year will come from areas covered in its Cluster Farming Program.
“Yields from the Cluster Farming Program will cover the bulk of the agency’s procurement volume in 2009 as production is expected at a minimum of 700,000 metric tons (MT) from an area covering at least 235,000 hectares,” NFA administrator Jessup Navarro announced at a Management Committee meeting.
Under the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture, individual farmers are organized into one manageable entity and are linked to bigger communities such as the municipality and province under the clustering approach.
The cluster approach is implemented by the GMA Rice program as it enables the government to easily execute, monitor and document the rice program in a particular region.
For the procurement of 1 MMT of palay from local farmers, the NFA is expected to spend up to P17 billion which it will borrow from commercial banks.
In 2008, the NFA procured a total of 685,300 MT of paddy rice from local farmers. The agency spent P11.65 billion to purchase the volume from local farmers.
Apart from the purchase of palay, the NFA offered a fertilizer incentive of P1,800 for every 50 cavans palay sold by farmers to the NFA. The incentive was meant to help farmers cope with the unprecedented spike in fertilizer prices last year. As the price of chemical fertilizers has stabilized, the government decided to scrap the incentive this year.
The NFA had figured more prominently in the domestic rice market since last year after the price of rice rose to more than $1,000 per MT. The Philippines was the single biggest factor behind the increase in the price of imported rice as it scrambled to beef up its stocks in the lean months of July to September.
Due to the gap in supply as well as the government’s need to beef up its buffer stocks, the Philippines imported more than 2.3 MMT of rice mainly from Vietnam and Thailand.
By Business Mirror
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