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Yamang Bukid Farm (YBF)- Palawan, an emerging farm tourism destination based in Brgy. Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City, partnered with the municipal government of Narra for the procurement of P100,000 worth of ready-to-mill palay at P25 per kilo in an effort to help low-income farmers affected by dropping prices of palay.
In a statement, Bro. George Maria, YBF-Palawan vice president for community affairs, said that they would buy at least P100,000 worth of palay at P25 per kilo, way above the prevailing buying price of the state-run National Food Authority (NFA) which is only P19.
Rice farmers from the different parts of the country felt the brunt of the plunging price of palay since bulk of the rice available in the market are imported rice from neighboring Southeast Asian countries, as a result of the Rice Tarrification Act.
Recently, Maria and other Yamang Bukid officials met with the municipal officials of Narra and discussed their project to procure palay from rice farmers.
“This is our commitment to the farmers and to those who joined and believed in our cause,” said Maria, a former seminarian.
While the municipal officials of Narra welcomed the initiative of YBF. Vice Mayor Crispin Lumba Jr. said that this is a great opportunity for the farmers in their town since the buying price of palay is higher. He said that the project is timely and a welcome development.
The town of Narra is considered as the rice granary of Palawan being the municipality which has the largest rice field in terms of land area. Bulk of the province’s palay production also came from Narra.
Hope Alas, YBF vice president for tourism affairs, said the amount allocated by them was the net proceeds of last month’s run for the farmers staged by YBF.
Eugene Sumaydeng, municipal agriculturist of Narra, recommended YBF to consider buying from indigenous peoples (IP) communities who are cultivating organic upland palay so that the help will also be felt in the interior and far flung areas of Narra.
The municipal government of Narra will shoulder the drying and milling of the palay and assist in the transportation of the grains from the upland barangays enroute to the town proper of Narra, which is part of their commitment to the partnership with YBF.
“What we’re doing is really small, but we hope this could snowball into something big and spur other businesses, well-off individuals and organizations to do the same so we can help alleviate the sorry situation of our farmers,” Maria of YBF said in a statement.
YBF said they would give back to the farmer’s half of the milled rice and keep the other half for redistribution during their Christmas outreach missions this December 2019. They will use the collected rice bran or darak as swine feed.