National Food Authority (NFA) Office-In-Charge Tomas R. Escarez clarified that the agency continues to buy corn, aside from palay, from local farmers to assure local producers of a ready market at reasonable prices.

Escarez issued this statement in reaction to a news report that the farm gate prices of palay and corn were at their “lowest since September.”

Actual on-field price monitoring by NFA personnel show that the price of palay was still above the government support price of P17.00 per kilogram, at an average of P18.35/kg while corn prices averaged at P11.94/kg for the white variety and P11.06 for the yellow variety. NFA buys yellow corn at P12.30/kg and white corn at P13.00/kg.

For both palay and corn, the NFA also provides drying, delivery and cooperative incentives amounting to P0.70/kg.

“Because the country produces corn mainly for feed processors, the NFA has devised a scheme that will directly link the corn producers with buyers through our Enhanced Electronic Trading System,” Escarez said. This way, the stocks go directly from the farms to processors eliminating another layer or a middleman between them.

In a news report, Philippine Maize Federation, Inc. President Roger V. Navarro called on the NFA to stabilize the farm gate prices of palay and corn saying the corn farming sector is currently “suffering from a crisis.” Escarez said that aside from the EETS, the NFA has also been buying corn.

“Reports saying that the average palay farm-gate price of palay is at P17.11/kg means the farmers are still enjoying a good price for their harvest,” Escarez explained. The P17.00/kg government support price had been pegged to ensure that farmers get reasonable returns on their investment, he added.

Since the start of the harvest season this month, the NFA had already procured a total of 1,616,658 bags of palay and 12,409 bags of corn. ###


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