MALAYBALAY CITY – Instead of just waiting for farmers to bring their palay to the National Food Authority (NFA) grains centers in Bukidnon, the NFA will go to the farmers and buy their produce there as grains traders usually do.
Gil Tabor, NFA Bukidnon assistant provincial manager told the Bukidnon Press Club Wednesday they have lost market to the traders who buy palay from farmers actually at a lower price.
“We will go to where the farmers are to buy palay just as the traders do,” he said.
He announced that they have funding to buy at least 122,000 bags of palay for the year.
He said NFA buys at P17 per kilo. The traders sell at the same price.
But he said they deduct 10 percent for moisture content such that farmers only earn P15.30 per kilo.
NFA, he said, will not cut the price of palay by 10 percent as it offers to be the one to dry the grains in their warehouses.
He said the NFA has already conducted a survey and identified the farmers expecting to harvest in the following months.
Tabor said they will initiate the mobile procurement in Malaybalay City, where he said a few farmers only sell their produce to the NFA. In other provinces, mobile procurement is done to cut farmers’ transportation cost.
Alejandro Alesna, president of the Managok Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative welcomed the move as beneficial to palay farmers.
But he said the NFA move is only a short-term remedy to the problems of farmers’ viability. He said in a separate interview that the government must consult all the time consult the farmers about their needs.
He said among other things, the government must provide sufficient livelihood support and provide loan packages to farmers so they won’t rely on financiers and loan sharks. (Walter I. Balane)