NFA to buy, store 200,000 MT of corn

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NFA to buy, store 200,000 MT of corn

AN expected increase in corn harvests this year has prompted the National Food Authority (NFA) to plan buying 200,000 metric tons (MT) of corn from farmers and store that harvest until the next cropping year.

In May, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said both palay and corn harvests are expected to improve in the second quarter of 2011.

The move also ensures that farmers get fair prices for their produce, the NFA explained.

“For yellow corn, we’re looking at ‘surplus areas,’ or those that has surplus production such as Region II, at the same time we will focus on white-corn eating areas,” said National Corn program director Edilberto de Luna Tuesday.

The NFA started buying corn last month as the harvest season is expected to peak this July, said De Luna. The NFA will buy as much as 100,000 MT of white corn at P13.70 per kilo and another 100,000 MT of yellow corn at P13.00 per kilo.

The NFA is also in talks with the Budget Department to source funds from commercial loans to buy the commodity.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Maize Federation said the government should find a market for surplus output to prevent a drastic drop in farm gate prices.

Government estimates corn production at 3.3 million MT in January to June, up 36.8 percent from 2.42 million MT a year earlier.

Second semester corn production is seen rising by 71 percent due to a 37.8 percent expansion in harvest area and a 24 percent improvement in yield, compared to the same period in 2010.

The country produced 1.91 million MT of corn in the first quarter of the year, 19.5 percent higher than the 1.6 million MT produced in the same period in 2010. (GMA News)

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