The National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental has tapped local rice mills for test milling of procured palay (unhusked rice).
Provincial manager Frisco Canoy said on Sunday the central office gave instructions for the conduct of test milling to determine if these rice mills can qualify in terms of recovery percentage and quality of rice.
“Actual milling will follow once they qualify during the test mill,” he added.
Test milling for palay purchased in Bacolod City began at the Rice Processing Center (RPC) in Barangay Tabunan, Bago City last week.
This week, the NFA will start test milling for palay purchased in buying stations in San Carlos City and Ilog town.
Canoy said they can still accommodate other rice mills aside from those identified in the three localities.
The NFA requires a minimum capacity of 50 bags per hour output, and a recovery rate of at least 63 percent.
This means that if 100,000 bags of palay are milled, the recovery should be at least 63,000 bags of well-milled rice.
As of October, NFA-Negros Occidental has purchased 47,392 bags of palay worth about PHP45 million from farmers in Negros Occidental.
The milled palay will then serve as buffer stocks of the NFA, mainly for government use during calamities and emergencies.
Canoy said the NFA will pay the contracted rice mills in kind or in cost of by-product like the “upa” (rice hulls) plus the excess in the recovery rate of 63 percent.
If the mill’s recovery rate is 65 percent, the excess of 2 percent will be given to the rice mill.
For the test milling, the NFA will pay the rice mill’s entire recovery output based on their milling rate, and another rate for the by-product.
Canoy said no cash is involved during the test milling since NFA-Negros Occidental will pay the rice mills using its imported rice buffer stocks equivalent to the computed milling rate and cost of by-products.
The volume subjected to test milling will depend on the rice mill’s eight-hour capacity. If the capacity is 100 bags per hour, a total of 800 bags will be subjected to test mill within three trials.
Since the warehouses in San Carlos and Ilog are already full of procured palay, the NFA-Negros Occidental has been authorized by the agency to transport palay to Dumangas, Iloilo for milling in the NFA facility in the area.
Since last week, about 49,000 bags of palay have been stocked in three warehouses in the province. Some 10,000 bags will be sent to Iloilo. (PNA)