NFA to buy 5% of 2011 rice stock from local farmers

QUEZON CITY—The National Food Authority (NFA) is set to buy at least five percent of the country’s target rice stock this year from local producers.

NFA administrator Lito Banayo said that 870 metric tons of palay would be purchased locally as part of the grain agency’s buffer stock.

But Banayo said the NFA needs to secure a loan for the purchase as government rice subsidy was reduced in the 2011 national budget.

The NFA buys locally produced rice at P17 per kilo.

“Maglo-loan muna kami para may pambili,” he said.

Banayo said the Department of Finance has expressed willingness to assist in interest payment through net lending. Currently, the NFA has P162 million in loan, down from P176 million since Banayo assumed the position as its administrator.

For 2013, he said the NFA should be able to increase to 10 percent the agency’s local purchase to boost farmers’ income and encourage them to produce more.

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