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July 2024

Govt working for affordable rice

FARMERS’ cooperatives and associations, local government units (LGUs), together with the Agriculture department, are working together to provide affordable rice in the market.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said through a statement issued by the Palace that more stakeholders and groups are now getting involved in the efforts of the government to provide low-cost rice to consumers.

“Everyone’s working double time and giving their share to make sure that the targets of the President are delivered,” said DA Assistant Secretary and spokesman Arnel de Mesa.

The DA cited the LGUs of Cebu and Negros Occidental that are putting efforts to provide P20 to P25 per kilogram (kg) of rice in the market. De Mesa added that the DA, private entities and other operating units in the said provinces have allocated resources to benefit less fortunate individuals.

The DA also emphasized that the “Bigasan ng Bayan” in Negros Occidental sells rice at P25.00 per kg. The said program is being operated with the support of the Federation of Irrigators Association of Central Negros-Bago River Irrigation System (FIACN-BRIS).

Members of the FIACN-BRIS working for the provincial government allocate 10 percent of their production to be sold to the most vulnerable sectors made up of the elderly, indigents, and persons with special needs.

Cebu, meanwhile, is set to start selling P20 per kg of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) through its newly conceptualized “Sugbo-Merkadong Barato.” Commercial rice priced at P40 per kg will also be sold through this initiative.

The Cebu provincial government has allocated a budget of P100 million to buy NFA rice.

De Mesa added that some LGUs have also started their own procurement programs in their respective provinces to assist rice farmers.

The local government of Nueva Ecija has introduced its “Palay Procurement Program” through its Provincial Food Council that buys freshly harvested palay (unmilled rice) to support farmers and assure them of competitive and fair buying price for rice.

Last month, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that P20 per kg of rice could still happen once the agricultural industry and the cost of production stabilizes and returns to normal.

In line with the said programs, de Mesa echoed the administration’s goal to ensure that all sectors are protected; not only the consumers, but also the rice producers.

And as a bid to improve farmers’ income and ensure sufficient supply of the staple, the NFA Council chaired by President Marcos set a new price range for buying palay to improve the income of Filipino rice farmers.

It was announced on Sept. 18, 2023 that the buying price for dry palay would be P23 per kg from P19 per kg and for wet, up from P19 per kg from P16 kg, respectively. QR Code

Published Date: October 29, 2023

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