NFA Announces PHP10 Billion Investment to Modernize Post-Harvest Facilities in the Philippines

MANILA — The National Food Authority (NFA) has unveiled plans for a PHP10 billion funding initiative aimed at modernizing the country's post-harvest infrastructure to significantly enhance palay drying capacity.

According to Philippines News Agency, officer-in-charge of the NFA, the current facilities can only handle 31,000 metric tons of drying capacity, well below the needed 495,000 metric tons. The remarks came during a media briefing on the government-run PTV4, where Lacson discussed the disparities in current infrastructure and the aims of the new funding. He acknowledged that the allocated funds would not meet the full requirements of their targets but expressed hope that the multi-year modernization plan would eventually bridge this gap.

The investment, approved by the NFA Council on April 11, will focus on constructing new warehouses, dryers, milling facilities, and silos across various key locations including Dingras in Ilocos Norte, Concepcion in Tarlac, Dumangas in Iloilo, and Musuan in Maramag, Bukidnon. Once completed, these projects are expected to add 150,000 metric tons to the drying capacity and 120,000 metric tons to rice milling capacity.

Additionally, Lacson committed to improving the quality of rice procured for the national buffer stock to ensure it matches commercial standards. The goal is to enhance the reputation of NFA rice, positioning it as a high-quality product in the minds of consumers. He highlighted the necessity of providing high-quality rice to disaster-affected populations, reflecting on the double burden these communities face.

The NFA Council has also revised the purchasing prices for palay to better reflect market conditions, setting new rates ranging from PHP23 to PHP30 per kilogram for dry and clean palay and PHP19 to PHP23 per kilogram for fresh palay. These adjustments aim to align closer with current trader prices nationwide and are part of broader efforts to stabilize rice supply and prices across the country.