SoCot to start buying palay from farmers next week

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KORONADAL CITY — The provincial government of South Cotabato will start next week the procurement of palay from local farmers at PHP19 per kg. as it moves to ease the impact of the unstable commercial buying prices in the area.

Justina Navarrete, head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said Thursday the local government would tap the Binhian ng Timog Kutabato (Bintiku) Multi-Purpose Cooperative based in Surallah town to facilitate the palay procurement.

Navarrete said South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. was set to sign a memorandum of agreement with Bintiku, which would buy palay from farmers through support funds from the provincial government.

The Provincial Board issued an authority to the governor to sign the agreement with the cooperative on Monday.

Tamayo requested a PHP10 million funding for the implementation of the palay support program, which was earlier encouraged by the national government in the wake of the declining palay buying prices.

In South Cotabato, private or commercial traders are buying palay at PHP14 per kg., even lower in some areas.

Navarrete said the palay buying price set by the program is considered as one of the highest in the country so far, adding that they expect to generate at least 5,000 bags of rice out of the PHP10-million allocation.

“Based on the arrangements, Bintiku will start buying palay from our farmers on October 24,” she told reporters.

Navarrete said the cooperative would purchase palay directly from the farmers and no middlemen would be allowed to intervene, and that the municipal agriculture offices have identified the initial batch of farmers who would benefit from the program. -PNA

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