National Food Authority provincial manager ProcopioTrabajo II yesterday said he will visit the rice producing towns in Negros Occidental to find out why the agency has not been procuring much palay in the last few months.
Trabajo, as the new NFA provincial manager, however, also said not being able to procure does not mean that they have not accomplished their task.
He said it is the presence of NFA that makes the traders jack up their prices and it means they can accomplish our task of price stabilization. If the traders will give farmers higher prices for their palay, it is better for them,” he added.
While NFA gives a reasonable return of investment, it also gives farmers a better ROI because their produce is bought at a higher price, he also said.
However, Trabajo said that, aside from price differences, farmers are not selling their palay to NFA because traders are financing their production needs, and they are obliged to sell their produce to them.
They are also not expecting mass procurement now because the harvest period has just started, he added.
Trabajo also said that NFA can be more proactive in its palay procurement so that instead of waiting for farmers to come to their warehouses, the agency will go and talk to them.
Meanwhile, Trabajo encouraged NFA staff and division heads to do their jobs and work with the industry in order to achieve their goals. *LTG