By Zorayda Tecson
GAPAN CITY — The Nueva Ecija provincial government is putting up warehouses with recirculating dryer in eight of its municipalities to help farmers in ensuring that their products are of good quality and command higher prices even in times of calamities.
With the support of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the ongoing projects are simultaneously being built in the towns of Peñaranda, Cuyapo, Guimba, Talavera, Pantabangan, Rizal, Sta, Rosa, and San Antonio.
Nestor Sarangaya, Provincial Engineering Office chief, said the projects are meant to help farmers to dry and store their products until they are marketed to the Nueva Ecija Provincial Food Council, National Food Authority (NFA), or private traders.
He said the recirculating dryer has the capacity to dry up to 3,000 cavans of palay per day. “This is a big help to us, most especially to our farmers),” Sarangaya said in a radio interview.
Farmers who are members of the Guimba-Victoria Irrigators Association, Bangon Cuyapo Nampicuan Farmers Irrigators Association and Valle PMPC thanked the DA and Governor Aurelio Umali for the projects that would help them, especially during the wet season when palay prices are relatively low.
“We are very grateful because we were provided with this kind of project that is of great benefit to us, farmers,” Gil Villanueva, president of the Guimba-Victoria Irrigators Association said in Pilipino.
Antonio Lopez Sr., chairman of the Valle PMPC, said the warehouse and recirculating dryer is an answer to their problems especially during the rainy season. “We are thankful to the DA and to Governor Umali because we were given a warehouse where to stock the palay of our members after harvesting,” he added.
Due to lack of drying facilities, loval farmers are usually compelled to sell their palay for as low as P12 per kilo to local traders, making it hard for them to recover expenses.
To date, the National Food Authority (NFA) is buying clean and dry palay with 14% moisture at P19 per kilo. (PNA)