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NFA Gears Up For Purchase, Drying Of Palay On Wet Harvest Season

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NFA Gears Up For Purchase, Drying Of Palay On Wet Harvest Season

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The National Food Authority (NFA) assured Tuesday that it is preparing for the procurement and drying of play (unhusked rice) as early as now for the wet harvest season.

The NFA’s move came shortly after it implemented a new and higher pricing scheme for palay on the tail-end of dry harvest season on Monday, with the price range now pegged at PHP17 to PHP23/kg. for fresh or wet palay and while PHP23 to PHP30/kg. for clean and dry palay.

In a radio interview, NFA officer-in-charge administrator Larry Lacson said instructions were already given to local offices to consider factors concerning the looming threat of La Niña.

“What we are doing in preparation for the buying during times na La Niña or medyo tag-ulan, iyon po iyong sinasabi ko ngayon sa ating regional managers na prepare for harvest nang maulan (somewhat rainy, that’s what I’m currently telling to our regional managers, to prepare for the rainy harvest season),” he said.

Lacson underscored the need for adequate drying facilities to ensure good quality of palay as higher volume is expected during the wet harvest season.

“(I told them) Mag-contract na tayo ng mga drying stations, drying facilities kung saan kulang tayo. Kahit basketball court, kahit ano, (Let’s secure contracts with drying stations, drying facilities wherein we are lacking. Even in basketball courts, whichever) if we need to rent, we have to rent,” he added.

Lacson mentioned that the harvest during the wet season is expected to be higher, accounting for 70 percent of the total rice production for the year.

Its onset typically starts in early September, with peak harvest happening late September to October.

Lacson, meanwhile, expressed confidence in reaching the 300,000 metric tons (MT) target volume for the national rice buffer stock considering the NFA’s new flexible pricing.

“Ito pong (This) dry season [harvest] is 30 percent of the total production for the year,” he said.

“Just imagine kung 70 percent pa naman po iyong hahabulin natin itong mga sa wet season, ako po’y confident naman… makakakuha po kami ng sizeable na buffer stock (if we will go after 70 percent during the wet season, I’m confident… that we will secure a sizeable buffer stock),” he added.

To date, the NFA has 42,200 MT on hand while its palay procurement is ongoing amid the tail-end of the harvest season. (PNA)