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May 2024

Rice prices up in South Cotabato; supply still substantial – governor

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 15 August) – Supplies and prices of commercial rice in South Cotabato province remain “manageable” amid the recent spike in market prices in the country.

South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said the province still has a substantial supply of rice but admitted that market prices recently increased, with premium rice breaching the P40/kilogram (kg) mark.

He attributed the price increases to the low palay harvests in Central Luzon due to the impact of typhoons and the recent announcements of cuts in rice exports by Vietnam and Thailand, the country’s major sources of imported rice.

“(But) we are still okay, we still have the lowest rice prices so far,” he claimed in a media forum on Monday.

The governor said he expects rice supplies and prices in the province’s 10 towns and lone city to stabilize in the coming months with the start of harvests next month from palay farms that are under the provincial government’s flagship Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program (CRPMP).

He said some 500 hectares of palay supported by the program will be harvested within September and an additional 2,000 hectares by October.

Tamayo projected harvests of eight to 10 tons per hectare, way higher than the previous 4.2-ton average per hectare in the province.

“That’s what we’re seeing during our visits to consolidated farms in Surallah (town),” he said.

CRMP, which was formally launched by the provincial government last June during the visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., aims to increase rice production, ensure food production, and improve farmers’ income while making rice affordable to consumers.

Farms under the program receives various assistance from the provincial government, including inputs and free use of farm machineries, starting from land preparation to harvest.

“We’re working on lowering production costs to P12 per kilo so we can sell rice at P25 per kilo or even lower,” Tamayo said.

As harvests from the consolidated farms increase in the coming months, the governor said the local government will put up silos to store buffer stocks that could last from four months to one year.

“We will release the buffer supplies in case of shortages in our markets. In the long term, hopefully we can also augment the needs of other areas,” the governor added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews) QR Code

Published Date: August 15, 2023

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