MANILA - The National Food Authority (NFA) has started to buy unhusked rice (palay) at P23 per kilo.
In a statement on Monday, they said funds have already been downloaded.
"We already ordered our regions/branches to commence procurement of clean and dried palay at P23.00/kg nationwide. Procurement guidelines have been circulated and funds have been downloaded to our buying stations," their statement read.
"Our main harvest season has just started. Many of our rice millers are still aggressively buying palay, P24-25/kg, higher than NFA price. That is okay, as they have immediate needs to supply their customers with milled rice, while NFA will be using the palay for later use as buffer stock," they added.
This is a higher price than what NFA usually bought palay for in the past few years.
Before today, NFA bought palay at only P19 per kilo.
This will pull palay prices higher as millers will follow this benchmark for buying rice this harvest season.
"But as soon as peak harvest occurs, our farmers will rely more on NFA to stabilize palay prices. The P23 per kilo will help stabilize palay prices that are needed to keep planting intentions for the next crop more positive. When farmers have more money, they can provide more for the next crop, which is important given the higher risks due to possible effects of El Niño," they added.
NFA also said they will soon release guidelines on buying fresh palay based on 25 percent moisture content, more or less, at Php18.00 up to Php19.00 per kilo.