DUMAGUETE CITY – The National Food Authority (NFA) is helping local rice farmers in Negros Oriental boost their income through its buffer stocking incentive (BSI) which gives a higher procurement price for palay (unmilled rice) compared to the commercial buying price.
Benilda Fidel, NFA-Negros Oriental manager, told the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday that the incentive gives PHP4 per kilogram for clean and dry palay and PHP2 per kilogram for wet palay.
This is on top of the NFA’s current buying price of palay at PHP19 per kilogram, she said.
With the BSI, this means that NFA’s procurement of palay is pegged at PHP23 per kilogram for dry and PHP21 per kilogram for wet palay, she added.
“Our farmers’ income is boosted as this is much higher than the prevailing commercial procurement price here at PHP18/kilogram for fresh and wet palay and from PHP20 to PHP22/kilogram for clean and dry palay”, Fidel said.
She said that another incentive for local rice farmers in the province is the subsidy given under the Palay Marketing Assistance Program for Legislators and Local Government Units (PALLGU).
Some LGUs in Negros Oriental have already inked a memorandum of agreement with NFA to subsidize their farmers by giving at least PHP2 per kilogram top-up to the grains agency’s procurement price.
As of Oct. 20, the NFA has procured a total of 1,897 bags of both wet and dry palay from different parts of the province.
Of the total, 597 bags are from Mabinay farmers, who received PHP88,845 as BSI from NFA and a subsidy from the LGU of some PHP59,986; 328 bags from Guihulngan City, with a BSI of over PHP38,000; and 972 bags from Bayawan City with a PALLGU subsidy of more than PHP145,000.
Fidel said Bayawan City farmers did not receive BSI from NFA as the palay delivery came prior to the effectivity of the incentive last month.
With the rice harvest season already picking up in Negros Oriental, the NFA is hopeful that the province’s farmers will sell their produce to them as a way of helping the government to stockpile the staple for emergency and disaster response.
“We are asking our farmers to avail of the incentives from the national and local governments not only for a higher price for their palay but also for them to give back for the assistance provided them such as fertilizers and farm implements,” she said.
Currently, the NFA in Negros Oriental has a buffer stock of around 22,000 bags of rice in their warehouse, Fidel said. (PNA)