SAN JOSE CITY – From an initial funding of P200-million, the budget of the Nueva Ecija Provincial Food Council for the procurement of newly-harvested palay of local farmers in the province has ballooned to P1.2-billion.
This developed as the NE-PFC led by Gov. Aurelio M. Umali on Wednesday conducted a dryrun of the council’s first-ever palay-buying activity when it went directly to the rice fields in this city and transacted business with two farmers who are the initial beneficiaries of the said palay-buying scheme.
The governor and his team were here to personally meet up with the council’s two farmer-beneficiaries, identified as Eduardo Anastacio, of Purok 2, Bgy. Parang Mangga and Ernesto Bermudez, of Purok 3, Bgy. Dizol. Anastacio has a one-hectare farm while Bermudez owns a half-hectare rice field.
Umali said the dry run was initially conducted to test and determine how the new system of procuring the palay would basically work in order to benefit the local farmers, who own at least a hectare of rice farm or less.
During the dryrun, the farmers’ newly-harvested palay was bought by the NE-PFC at P15 per kilo, higher than the prevailing market rates being offered by traders.
“Masaya ako dahil binili ng pamahalaang panlalawigan ang aking palay sa mataas na presyo kaysa sa prevailing price. Ito ay malaking tulong sa amin upang makabawi sa gastos sa pagsasaka,” Anastacio told reporters.
Aside from offering higher palay rates, Umali said he will see to it that the PFC will extend help to these small farmers by lending to them the needed farm machinery and giving other forms of livelihood assistance when the council goes full blast on its palay-buying operations starting Oct. 1.