By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) in Western Visayas have conceptualized strategies to boost the local palay procurement.

During a meeting in Iloilo City held last January 24, Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter said that the DA has set some proactive measures for NFA’s palay procurement once the Rice Tariffication Act is passed.

Recoter added that the DA has 24 processing centers (RPCs) and one Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)-funded rice processing complex across the regions of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental.

After field validation and result analysis, the DA and NFA will proceed to discuss plans with farmers’ associations and cooperatives managing the RPCs.

The DA will also provide incentives to participating farmers groups.

Farmers’ association or cooperatives who will sell their palay to NFA will have prioritized granting of the Production Loan Easy Access of up to P50,000 as provision for farm machinery and other equipment.

Additionally, NFA will buy farmers’ produce at P17 per kilo with an incentive of P3.50 per kilo if the palay being sold is clean, dry, and has a moisture content of below 14 percent.