Philippine News Agency (September 25,2019)

LEGAZPI CITY — The National Food Authority (NFA) 5 (Bicol) has PHP700 million intended for the procurement of palay (unhusked rice) from local farmers, a top official of the agency said.

In an interview on Wednesday, NFA-5 Director Henry Tristeza said “the palay price would range from PHP19 to PHP10 per kg., depending on the quality of palay the farmers are selling.”

He said NFA will pay PHP19 per kg. for well-dried palay and PHP10 per kg. for wet palay.

Tristeza assured farmers that the funds would be used to finance the procurement of tons of palay in all accredited NFA buying stations across the region.

He said there are eight NFA buying stations in Bicol and five would be set up during the peak harvest season from October to December this year.

The NFA has 205,000 bags of rice stored in warehouses. These buffer stocks are only good for nine days for the region’s rice needs.

Tristeza said NFA rice is available in all accredited rice retail outlets.

“We have lifted the rice buying limit,” he noted.

Philippine Statistics Authority data indicate that Bicol has 164,000 hectares of land planted with rice.

The region’s top three rice-producing provinces are Camarines Sur with 70,000 hectares, followed by Albay with 33,000 hectares, and Sorsogon with 22,000 hectares, while the rest of the figure are in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Catanduanes and Masbate. (PNA)