14/05/2013: NFA registers highest palay procurement in 41 years
A May 14, 2013, press release from the Department of Agriculture, National Food Authority
National Food Authority Administrator Orlan A. Calayag proudly announced that the agency had bought a total of 2,286,624 bags of palay for the month of April alone, which is 212.02 percent more than the month’s target of 1,078,500 bags.
“This is the highest procurement record in NFA’s 41 years of existence,” Calayag said, and he expressed optimism that the trend will continue through the main harvest from October to December.
Through massive campaigns and innovative methods of procurement, the NFA has been exceeding its monthly procurement targets. From January to April, the agency had already bought a total of 4,790,645 bags of palay or 130.90 percent more than its procurement target of 3,659,700 bags for the period.
Calayag attributes the NFA’s creditable palay buying performance to the professionalism, unwavering dedication and high morale of NFA employees to achieve, and even surpass, set targets. “Each NFA employee will always rise up to the occasion in the name of public service,” Calayag said.
Among the top rice producers are: Region 4 (Southern Tagalog), where NFA bought a total of 1,195,530 bags from January to April, which is 137 percent more than the target volume of 872,000 bags; Region 3 (Central Luzon), with 1,101,975 bags or 225 percent over the 489,000 bags target; Region 2 (Cagayan Valley, with 888,975 bags, 157 percent more than the targeted volume of 567,500 bags; Region 11 (Southern Mindanao), with 241,139 bags or 127 percent over the 190,000 bags target; and Region 12 (Central Mindanao), with 186,920 bags or 179 percent more than the target volume of 108,000 bags.
But even in non-traditional rice-producing regions, the NFA has been procuring unprecedented volumes. For example, in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), the NFA had bought 119,296 bags, which is 497 percent of its target of only 24,000 bags from January to April. In Region 15 (CARAGA), the NFA bought 82,582 bags or 247 percent more than the 33,400 bags procurement target for the period. In Region 12 (Central Mindanao), the NFA bought a total of 186,920 bags or 179 percent more than the target of 108,000 bags.
Calayag said this is a good indication that the country is on its way to rice self-sufficiency. NFA’s high procurement records these past four months support the agriculture department’s Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Program (FSSP), which aims to make the country self-sufficient not only in rice but also other food staples.
The government has been veering away from too much rice importation, cutting down the NFA’s rice import volumes over the past three years. This year, the agency is importing a total of 187,000 metric tons, a supply good for six days, to augment the NFA’s buffer stock for the lean months of July to September.
With the continuing good harvest, and barring any unforeseen calamities that might impact on the projected harvest for the year, we may already achieve a zero importation in 2014, Calayag said.