SAN JUAN, La Union – With the government promoting upland rice farming to prop up rice production and make the country self-sufficient in 2013, the National Food Authority is set to buy upland palay varieties.
NFA Region I Director Danilo Pastrana said that with this development, the government will not just help increase production but will also help the indigenous group in selling their product at a price where they will have good returns.
“We will be buying palay from the highlands at P17.00 per kilogram, the same buying price we set in procuring regular palay varieties,” Pastrana said. He added that the same procurement procedure applied for regular palay varieties will be observed.
“We will give them the same incentives; that is, if they sell their produce to NFA as members of a farmer-cooperative. we will give them P0.70 per kilogram. If they sell as an individual farmer, they will get a P0.40 per kilogram incentive. Accordingly, the passbook will always be a requirement,” Pastrana said.
Pastrana said there are indications that upland rice is preferred in the market today because it is produced organically.
With this development, the agency’s stocks will rise as it will penetrate a new market – the indigenous farmers – and their produce to be sold for the customers who patronize NFA rice, Pastrana said.
“If we look at the market, upland or native rice is being sold at a much higher price than regular rice,” Pastrana said even as he added that the NFA can sell this upland rice in the market at a lower price while giving their consumers a wider choice of rice variety that they can buy.
“If we can corner a good portion of the harvest of upland rice, then we could inject the market with such a variety that will be affordable to everybody,” Pastrana said.#