July 13, 2011

Philippine government to buy 200,000 tonnes corn from farmers


The National Food Authority (NFA)-the Philippines' official grain arm-plans to buy 200,000 tonnes of corn from farmers and store that harvest until the next cropping year due to a foreseen harvest increase by the end of 2011.

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

The NFA explained the purchase will ensure farmers of having fair prices for their produce.

National Corn program director Edilberto de Luna said they are looking for surplus areas or those that has surplus production such as in Region 2 and at the same time, they will also focus on white-corn eating areas.

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 tonnes of white corn at PHP13.70 (US$0.31) per kilo and another 100,000 tonnes of yellow corn at PHP13.00 (US$0.30) 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 tonnes in January to June, up 36.8% from 2.42 million tonnes a year earlier.

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

The country produced 1.91 million tonnes of corn in the first quarter of the year, 19.5 % higher than the 1.6 million tonnes produced in the same period in 2010.

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