Issue of May 12, 2019
Mt. Province

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NFA buys palay only from legit farmers, not fake cooperatives
by NFA release

The National Food Authority clarified that its procurement program is focused only on legitimate farmers, as it belied allegations that the agency is buying palay from “fake” cooperatives used by traders to sell to the agency at a higher price.

“Farmers need to secure a passbook from the NFA before they can sell to the agency. Requirements for securing this passbook include a filled-out farmer’s information sheet with identification picture and a certification from the barangay captain, municipal agriculturist, municipal agrarian officer, or National Irrigation Administration where his farm is located,” NFA OIC administrator Tomas R. Escarez said.

For farmer organizations, a master passbook must be secured by submitting their certificate of registration, assembly resolution, and master list of members.

The passbook is given free of charge.

But even without a passbook, a “walk-in” farmer can still sell his produce to NFA up to 200 bags for the first time, but has to fill out the FIS. Future transactions will have to be recorded in a farmer passbook.

With regards the alleged complaints about NFA buying from fake cooperatives in Central Luzon, Escarez said he met with NFA-Region 3 officials and found out that the allegation is not true.

“Nevertheless, we will not allow any nefarious activities by fake farmer groups or cooperatives to muddle our procurement operations,” Escarez said.

He instructed NFA’s regional and provincial managers to conduct immediate revalidation of individual farmers and master passbooks of cooperatives selling palay to NFA.

He also directed them to coordinate with the municipal agriculture office in their respective areas to check on actual production areas of farmer coops selling palay to NFA, as well as look into their history of activities to validate their legitimacy as farmer coops.

Escarez sternly warned NFA field officials to transact only with legitimate farmers and farmer cooperatives as the agency continues to aggressively buy palay in view of its focused function on buffer stocking for calamities and emergencies under the recently enacted Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law.

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