MALASIQUI, Pangasinan

The La Union provincial government, in coordination with the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Department of Agriculture, is offering an additional procurement price of PHP5 per kilo to encourage farmers to sell their palay harvest to the NFA. In a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency, NFA-La Union statistician Maricel Baliton said PHP5 will be added to the PHP19 per kilo base buying price, bringing it to PHP24 a kilo.

“We hope the farmers will prioritize selling their harvest to the NFA,” she said, adding the new price will make it competitive against the buying price of private traders ranging from PHP20 to PHP25 per kilo. Baliton said they target to procure some 270,000 50-kilo bags of rice from farmers for this second semester, or from September to December this year.

Aside from the top-up price that is under the Palay Marketing Assistance Program for Legislators and Local Government Units, the NFA is also offering up to PHP4 per kilo buffer stock incentive for clean and dry quality palay. Baliton said there are around 68,000 to 70,000 farmers in the province although not all are expected to sell their harvest since some are just planting for their families’ consumption. In a press statement, La Union Governor Raphaelle Ortega-David acknowledged
the importance of supporting the farming community that plays an integral role in the province’s economic growth.

“She believes that empowering and investing in farmers are key steps toward realizing La Union’s vision of becoming the Heart of AgriTourism in Northern Luzon by 2025,” the La Union Provincial
Information Office said. It said the province has secured a PHP20 million budget that will enable more farmers to benefit from the increased rice price premium.

Hilda Austria/PN

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