TACLOBAN CITY– The local government of Matag-ob in Leyte is encouraging farmers to sell at least 10 percent of their harvest to the National Food Authority (NFA) and in return, the grains agency will sell them at least P25 per kilogram to the town’s poor rice consumers.

Mayor Bernandino Tacoy said that this move is his way of helping his poor constituents amid the rising prices of rice.

“This is our way of helping Matag-obanons, especially the less fortunate ones who could barely afford to buy rice due to high price,” he said.

“We will get a list (from our municipal social and development office) of individuals who will qualify or be entitled to avail of this program,” he said.

It was learned that most of the town’s farmers are selling their harvested palay to private traders who are buying them at higher prices compared with that of the NFA.

Private traders buy freshly harvested palay at more than P20 per kilogram while the NFA buys them for less than that amount.

Mayor Tacoy said that his government will be setting aside P1.5 million to help the local farmers who will join the program by providing them with certified seeds, fertilizers, and technical support.

This way, they could expect more harvest and in the process, gain more income, he said.

“We will provide incentives to the farmers who will join this program by providing them certified seeds, fertilizers, and even technical support,” Tacoy said.

The town of Matag-ob has more than 1,000 rice farmers with over 1,430 hectares devoted to palay farming with a rice production of 4.2 to 5.5 cavans per hectare.