(File photo)

The National Food Authority (NFA) in Palawan has expressed concern that the government’s plan to remove the P3.00 per kilo “buffer stocking incentive” they add to farmers selling their palay to their agency will limit their capacity to buy stocks for their buffer requirements.

Osmundo Guinto Jr., provincial manager, said Wednesday that the removal of buffer stocking incentive (BSI) program might also contribute to the lowering of the floor price of palay.

“Ang reaction namin dito ay makakaapekto ‘yan masyado sa aming procurement operation. But kung ‘yan ay gagawin na polisiya o ipag-uutos sa amin, wala kaming magagawa kung hindi ang sumunod,” he said.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Cynthia Villar has recently stated that NFA should remove the P3 BSI additional to the P17 palay buying price of the agency.

Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary William Dar also agreed to the removal of BSI that will be done by the National Food Authority Council (NFAC).

Guinto said that they will just follow if the NFAC ordered to remove the BSI but the agency stressed that P3 incentive has helped to double the procurement of palay from local farmers.

The incentive were approved in October 2018 by NFAC to allow NFA to compete with traders buying local price at higher prices.

“Kapag tinanggal natin ‘yan parang masyadong magkakaproblema lalo ang farmers natin kasi bababa ‘yong floor price ng palay. Kung ano yong ibigay sa amin na yon lang ang pwede namin ipambili, yon lang aming ipambibili dahil wala namin kami magagawa. Magiging polisiya ‘yan ng national government, susunod na lang kami,” he said.

In Palawan, palay is being bought from farmers for an average of P12 per kilo.

Guinto said that if the removal of P3 BSI succeeded, the local agency will double its effort to convince local farmers to still sell their palay production to the agency.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.