NegOcc rice procurement surges, warehouse space goes scarce

BACOLOD City – Storage is expected to be a bottleneck for the National Food Authority in Negros Occidental as its palay (unhusked rice) procurement increases further amid the ongoing harvests.

NFA provincial manager Frisco Canoy said Monday the bulk of the procurement this year includes palay purchased during the current cropping season, which started in September.

He added that bigger procurement is expected to continue this month in the province’s three buying stations in this city, Ilog town and San Carlos City.

“This is the first time we have purchased such huge volume. The harvest peaked in October,” Canoy said.

From January to October this year, NFA-Negros Occidental has procured over 45,992 bags of rice or about P43.6 million in total procurement.

Of which, about 80 percent were procured under the new buying price of PHP19 per kilogram.

On Sept. 13, the NFA started buying at P19, from the previous P17 after the NFA Council recommended the additional P2 per kilogram. However, the NFA no longer provided the P3.70 incentives earlier given to farmers.

Current average buying price offered by traders is P16 per kilogram for dry palay and P14 to P15 for wet stocks.

“The NFA buying price of P19 per kilogram is still competitive. Thus, local farmers still sell their palay to the NFA,” Canoy said.

He also said : “Right now, the warehouses in Ilog and San Carlos City are almost full.”

Last year, the NFA procured about P45 million worth of palay from farmers in Negros Occidental. The amount translates to 47,392 bags of palay purchased through the three buying stations, including the 45,992 bags procured from January to October.

The remaining 1,400 bags account for the procurement late last year. (With a report from PNA/PN)

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