DA signifies support for local producers to increase food supply

Author: DA-AFID | 12 August 2022

Following reports concerning the declining supply and soaring market prices of sugar, onions, and other agricultural commodities in the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) once again expressed its commitment to enhance its support for local producers.

During an interview, Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs and DA Spokesperson Kristine Evangelista shared that local sugarcane planters harvested their produce early and are set to initiate the milling process in the coming weeks of August.

The early harvests, added Usec. Evangelista, will help alleviate the increasing demand for low-priced sugar. As of August 12, refined sugar was priced at P100 per kilogram in Metro Manila markets. Washed and brown sugar were at P75 and P70 per kilogram, respectively.

For its part, the DA Spokesperson affirms that the DA remains focused on continuously monitoring the prices of agricultural commodities in local markets.

“Ang SRP ng asukal and all other commodities for that matter, we always have to review the supply situation. So dahil po mayroon tayong karagdagang supply, then we will look at the cost structure. From then, titingnan po natin with another consultation po with our sugar producers, our traders, and our retailers, and we will let you know if there is a move for the SRP,” she explained.

Meanwhile, reports on declining onion supply are circulating among the general public.

However, Usec. Evangelista states that while the prices for white and red onions have increased, the rumors on low onion supply are yet to be confirmed.

“Ang maganda po rito kasi, ang ating onion growers po mismo, sila na po ang katulong natin. ‘Pag sinabi po nila sa atin kung kanino nila binenta ang kanilang mga produkto, makatutulong po sa atin para hanapin at para i-check ang presyo pagdating sa merkado,” she added.

The Undersecretary also confirmed that the DA cannot recommend the importation of onions “unless [the DA is] very sure about the supply situation.”

For poultry and pork, Usec. Evangelista announced that the farmgate prices for both commodities have decreased.

“With this, we can expect that retail prices will go down, especially as our industry partners—the traders and retailers —gave their commitment on the matter during our consultation meeting,” she said.

As an effect, prevailing retail prices per kilogram as of August 12 were at P330 for pork ham (kasim), P340 for pork liempo, and P180 for whole dressed chicken.

“Whatever way it will help to temper inflation, that we will do so. Basta ang focus po natin will always be with production.”

To conclude, Usec. Evangelista reiterates that the DA will continue to provide various interventions and support to help producers increase their production.

“Tuloy-tuloy lang po ang ating trabaho at ating commitment to protect our producers and our consumers as well,” the DA spokesperson concluded. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)

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