High agri yield, low market prices: catch-up plan under PBBM-led DA

Author: DA-AFID | 20 July 2022

The Department of Agriculture will focus on increasing agricultural production and mobilizing agricultural commodities at consumer-friendly prices under President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

On July 18, Undersecretary-designate for Consumer and Political Affairs Kristine Evangelista reiterated the President’s previous statement to prioritize the stabilizing of prices—which escalated as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict—through intensified production of rice, corn, vegetables, fisheries, livestock, high value crops, and other agricultural products.

“When he told us before that we have to reconstruct the value chain, it’s taking into account ‘yong ating supply sources and at the same time ‘yong demand requirement ng ating consumers, including institutional buyers, industrial users. Ganoon po ngayon ang ating direksiyon,” she explained.

While the country’s rice production increased, the Undersecretary added, importation might still be needed for augmentation and for buffer stocking. Priority, however, remains to be given to local palay production.

Addressing concerns on the increasing prices and the stunting of poultry products, Usec. Evangelista relayed that the DA Livestock Group presented its ways forward—including the provision of feeds, biologics, enhanced biosecurity, and other forms of assistance to poultry raisers to keep prices in check.

The prevailing retail price of whole dressed chicken at the National Capital Region (NCR) markets, according to the DA Bantay Presyo – NCR, is at P200 as of July 18.

Meanwhile, the price monitoring group also noted that the prevailing retail price of refined sugar is at P90. Washed and brown sugar, on the other hand, are both at P70.

To cushion the skyrocketing prices of sugar, Usec. Evangelista bared that the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is considering the importation of sugar—although this remains to be discussed.

Setting a suggested retail price (SRP) is another option, with various consultations with stakeholders in the sugar industry already on the way.

Usec. Evangelista, who is also the Officer-in-Charge – Director of the DA – Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), also shared that the Department’s existing projects and programs will undergo thorough assessment to determine their efficacy.

With the high inputs and production costs inevitable due to the crisis in Ukraine, she explained that there is also a need to review the distribution of subsidies to local farmers, fishers, and animal raisers.

“Dapat maramdaman din po ng ating producers kung paano makatutulong sa kanila ‘yong subsidy, and at the same time, pagdating po sa merkado, maramdaman po natin na bumaba ang presyo,” she said. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)

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