Rice NGO calls for NFA intervention in palay buying

September 8, 2008



MANILA, Philippines - Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) on Monday called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy more palay from farmers at the start of the harvest season this month to avert a downtrend in palay prices.

Jessica Reyes-Cantos, R1 lead convenor, warned the agency against any repeat of the crisis early this year and help farmers recover from the high cost of production due to the increase in fertilizer prices and other farm inputs.

"Now is the time for the NFA to influence palay procurement and set in place the P17 per kilogram buying price that [President Arroyo] promised at the height of the crisis last May," said Cantos.

"We would like to see the government rescuing the farmers this time, after flooding the consumers with low-priced rice and slowly driving the market prices of rice down," she added.

The harvest season already started in Cagayan Valley, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Western Visayas, and Southern and Central Mindanao regions.





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