Agriculture group complains of lost income due to low market price of palay

Marje Pelayo   •   September 23, 2021   •   159

MANILA, Philippines — Farmers have been losing a significant amount of income because the price of palay has become so low.

This is what the agriculture group, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), has observed.

The group claims that several areas in the country sell palay at P13.00 to P14.00 per kilogram while in some places it is as low as P10.00 per kilogram.

However, the production cost has increased due to the rise in prices of fuel and fertilizer.

“Ang production cost ngayon ng fresh harvest ang computation namin is P15.50 (per kilo),” said Rosendo So, president of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura.

But the Department of Agriculture (DA) said there is a slight difference in the price of palay this year compared to last year. Farmers can still make profit through the DA’s programs, the Department said.

“Meron po talagang totoong mangilan ngilan exceptional na 10 (pesos per kilogram) pero ito po ay mga basang-basa at medyo sira pong palay,” explained DA Usec Ariel Cayanan.

But SINAG questioned why the price of imported rice has not gone down when the capital for each kilogram is cheap at P22.00.

“Ang kumikita dyan ay iyong mga importer. Iyon ang sinasabi namin na pag ibinaba ang taripa hindi sigurado na mapupunta sa consumer ang presyo,” So added.

SINAG urges the national government to increase the budget of the National Food Authority (NFA) to further support local production.

However, DA Secretary William Dar said they tried to ask for additional budget to buy palay but was rejected.

“We suggested through the budget process but it was not approved,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said, many local government units are now starting to buy directly from local farmers.

If ever the budget is approved, it is still the NFA who will procure rice for relief goods needed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Mababang presyo ng palay dahil sa rice tariffication law, itinanggi ng DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Mariing pinabulaanan ng Department of Agriculture ang alegasyon ng ilang grupo ng mga magsasaka hinggil sa umano’y pagbaba ng presyo ng palay dahil sa ipinatutupad na Rice Tariffication Law.

Una nang nanawagan ang grupong Federation of Free Farmers sa Kongreso na imbestigahan ang pagpapatupad ng Rice Tariffication Law dahil sa naging epekto nito sa presyuhan ng palay.

Ayon sa grupo, bumaba sa P11 hanggang P13  kada kilo ang presyo ng basang palay habang nasa P14 hanggang P17 naman ang halaga ng tuyong palay.

Anila, ito ay dahil umano sa hindi kontroladong importasyon ng bigas at walang kasiguruhan sa polisiya ng kagawaran.

Ngunit ayon kay Agriculture Secretary William Dar, walang katotohanan at  ‘exaggerated’ lang ang alegasyon ng ilang grupo at ilang dating opisyal ng kagawaran.

Aniya, paraan lang ito upang maisulong ang kanilang panukalang amiyendahan ang mga probisyon ng rice tariffication law.

“The interest groups, along with former DA officials, have exaggerated data on palay to push for the amendment or repeal of the RTL (rice tariffication law). They are resurrecting old arguments against RTL,” ang wika ni Dar.

Batay aniya sa survey ng Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) na isinagawa mula Setyembre 16-30, 2020, nasa P18 kada kilo ang average na presyo ng palay sa Central Luzon habang P19 naman sa Cagayan Valley.

Ang dalawang rehiyon ang nangunguna sa produksyon ng palay sa bansa na katumbas ng 31.5 percent ng total harvest noong 2019.

Sa ulat naman ng Philippine Statistics Authoroty, lumalabas na nasa P17.12 kada kilo naman ang farmgate price ng palay sa huling dalawang linggo ng Setyembre – mas mataas kumpara sa P16.18 kada kilo na presyo sa kaparehong panahon noong 2019.

Ayon kay Dar, ang mga nasabing survey ay nagpapakita lamang ng totoong presyo ng palay na taliwas sa sinasabi ng ilang grupo.

“Makikita dito na hindi nagkakalayo ang data na ginagamit ng gobyerno, and definitely the reality is, hindi kasing baba ang presyo ng palay as interest groups claim on social media,” ang wika ni Dar.

Tiniyak naman ni Dar na nakahanda ang National Food Authority na bilhin ang palay na ibinibenta ng mga magsasaka sa halagang P19 kada kilo na nasa mga bodega at buying stations sa bansa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

DA urges LGUs, private sector anew to buy palay, corn directly from local farmers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday renewed its appeal to local government units (LGU) and the private sector to buy palay and corn directly from farmers to prop up prices as harvest season peaks.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said LGUs and the grains industry stakeholders will have to “step in” and purchase directly through negotiated contracts with the farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCA) since the National Food Authority’s (NFA) palay procurement is limited to buffer stocking for calamities and emergencies

“The LGU- and private sector-led palay and corn buying will complement efforts of the Department of Agriculture through the National Food Authority to buy as much as possible from rice farmers using its 2020 P10-billion procurement fund,” Dar said.

“This should be part of the ‘new normal,’ where LGUs are taking a more pro-active stance by directly buying farmers’ produce — be these rice, corn, vegetables, chicken, eggs, fish and other farm and fishery products — at reasonable prices, and then including them in their food packs for their constituents,” he added.

The Agriculture chief said the NFA has also been directed to “roll-over twice its procurement fund so it could buy P20 billion-worth of palay this year.”

Further, he said provincial governments can avail of loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) of up to P2 billion at two percent interest to procure palay, and acquire farm machineries and postharvest facilities.

This harvest season, the DA said it wrote the governors of the top 12 rice-producing provinces to once again buy palay from their farmers.

The DA chief likewise called on the private sector, particularly those in the grains industry, to engage in long-term contract-growing and marketing agreement with farmers’ groups to buy rice for their employees and clientele as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Dar also asked the NFA to make available its warehouses for use by farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and LGUs.

“We will accelerate the modernization of the NFA’s drying and milling facilities so they could provide much-needed services for the benefit of our rice farmers,” he added.

Multi-sectoral group calls for repeal of rice liberalization law; doubts Duterte’s sincerity in suspending rice importation

Maris Federez   •   November 20, 2019

A multi-sectoral group expressed doubts on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s sincerity when he announced that he is ordering the temporary suspension of rice importation in the country.

The group went on to call for the stoppage of the implementation of the Rice Liberalization Law.

The group claimed that the President’s pronouncement may be just like what happened to the other promises he made but were left unfulfilled.

The President made the announcement to address the complaints of farmers of the severely low price of palay as imported rice flooded the local market brought about by the Rice Tariffication Law.

The Bantay Bigas group doubts the President’s sincerity.

“Puro salita […] Wala siyang inisyu na Executive Order para ipakita na talagang sinsero siya doon sa ihinto iyong rice importation (All talk […] He didn’t issue any Executive Order to show that he is sincere in stopping the rice importation),” said Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), on the other hand, dared the President to make good on his announcement to suspend the rice importation as it called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy the farmers’ palay at a price not lower than P20 per kilogram.

“Stop killing the rice industry. Save the rice farmers,” said KMP Chairman Rafael Mariano.

The group suggested that the President may direct Congress to suspend and review the Rice Liberalization Law.

Meanwhile, President Duterte will meet with Agriculture Secretary William Dar to discuss the planned suspension of rice importation. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

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