The National Food Authority (NFA) has noted an increase in the number of accredited farmers selling palay to them from over 200 in 2018 to 996 as of the first week of December 2019.
Osmundo Guinto, Jr., the NFA provincial manager, said Monday that there is an increase of around 700 farmers, attributing it to the decrease of farm gate prices being offered by private traders as an effect of the rice tariffication law.
“Ibig sabihin ay 700 ang increase ng individual farmers and it means iyon ang mga bagong nagpasok ng palay sa atin. Simula noong August hanggang [first week ng] December [nagkaroon ng increase] because naramdaman ‘yong impact ng rice tarrification law. Hindi ba pinirmahan ’yan ng January 14? Nag-effect siya ng July,” he said.
Guinto said that due to the effect of the rice tariffication law on Filipino farmers, their last resort is to sell their palay to the NFA at P19/kilo buying price in comparison to the private traders’ P13 or P10.
“Struggling sila [sa pagpapatuyo,] but they have no choice kasi kung ibebenta naman nila sa traders, lugi naman sila. Itong NFA ay ino-offer naman namin lahat sa kanila even our drying facilities, solar dryer at mechanical dryer para lang matuyo nila. Pero then again, hindi naman namin puwedeng i-compromise ang quality,” he said.
He said that NFA is strict in buying dry and clean palay to secure their buffer stock which is now the main mandate of the agency after the passing of the tariffication law.
He said farmers have no choice but to dry their palay before selling it.
“Maganda naman ‘yon kasi natututo sila, hindi ba? Sa next procurement season, alam na nila ang gagawin nila, bibilad na sila ng palay. Magtutuyo na sila sa dryers hindi kagaya dati na puwede ko naman ibenta ‘yan sa traders,” he said.