New NFA chief vows to help reach rice self-sufficiency

Posted at 01/22/13 10:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on Monday swore in a new head for the National Food Authority whose main and often contradictory job is to boost prices for farmers and keep them down for consumers.

The new administrator is Orland Calayag, whose recent job is an executive director of Progressive Community and Ecological Services Organization, a non-government organization helping farmers and fisherfolk with livelihood and environmental protection.

Calayag said his agency would beef up its local procurement program to encourage more production in order to attain self-sufficiency.

"Siguro po ang primary na magiging papel ng NFA dyan ay pagbibigay po ng direktang pagsuporta sa magsasaka sa local procurement ng ating mga palay," he told reporters.

"Lahat po ng posible na suporta sa ating magsasaka ay gagawin po natin," he continued.

The government expects to achieve rice self-sufficiency this year despite devastating typhoons that struck the country in 2012. -- ANC