BACOLOD City – The National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental has started test milling of procured palay or unhusked rice.
NFA provincial manager Frisco Canoy said the test milling was directed by the central office to determine if rice mills can qualify in terms of recovery percentage and the quality of rice.
“Actual milling will follow once they qualify during the test mill,” Canoy added.
The test milling for palay began at the Rice Processing Center in Barangay Tabunan, Bago City, Negros Occidental last week while the San Carlos City and Ilog town have yet to start the test milling this week, Canoy said.
He added they can 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 – which means that if 100,000 bags of palay were milled, the recovery should be at least 63,000 bags of well-milled rice.
As of October, NFA-Negros Occidental purchased 47,392 bags of palay worth around P45 million from farmers in the province.
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 for the by-product.
Canoy said no cash is involved in test milling since the agency will pay the rice mills using its imported rice buffer stocks equivalent to the computed milling rate and cost of by-products.
He added 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 town were full of procured palay, the NFA-Negros Occidental has been authorized to transport palay to Dumangas, Iloilo for milling.
Since last week, around 49,000 bags of palay have been stocked in three warehouses in the province. Around 10,000 bags will be sent to Iloilo.(With a report from PNA/PN)