THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Rice prices dip at 6-year low, due to rice tariffication law

Author: DA Communications Group | 28 January 2020

Filipino consumers can breathe a sigh of relief as retail prices of rice continue to stabilize at the start of the year — thanks to the measures and interventions implemented by the Duterte administration.

“Consumers are now reaping the benefits of a lower price of rice, which is the heart and soul of the Rice Tariffication Law or RTL,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The average retail price of regular-milled rice (RMR) dipped to P36.53 per kilogram (kg) in the first week of January 2020, down by 12.3 percent (%) compared to P41.63/kg in the same week of December 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“It was the lowest average price of RMR since six years ago, on the third week of January 2014, at P36.46/kg, as per PSA,” added Secretary Dar.

The average price of well-milled rice (WMR) was cheaper by 11%, at P37.24/kg in the first week of January 2020, versus P41.82/kg during the same period in January 2019.

Kumpara noong mga nakaraang taon na mahigit P40 kada kilo ang presyo ng bigas, ngayon marami na ang pagpipilian. May NFA at regular na bigas sa P27 hanggang P32 kada kilo, well-milled rice na P35 to P38, at sa mga espesyal na bigas, may P40 kada kilo at higit pa,” said Secretary Dar.

As consumers enjoy affordable rice, he assures both consumers and farmers that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will all the more pursue the efficient implementation of the four component programs of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as called for under the RTL.

“We are pleased to hear the PSA report on the declining rice prices, benefiting millions of our countrymen. From here on, we will even work harder to sustain reasonable rice prices, coupled with efforts to empower our farmers by providing them quality seeds, needed farm machinery, credit, modern technology and training,” Secretary Dar said.

“We assure the public and our farmers that we will not rest on initial laurels, but we rather continue to move on and attain our vision of a rice-secure and food-secure nation with prosperous farmers and fishers,” the DA chief noted.

He said that the four RCEF major components are in full swing, which include the provision of farm machinery, quality seeds, credit, package of technology and training–backed up by assured funding of P10 billion yearly for the next six years.

The DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has to date obligated a total of P2.56 billion for seeds, and distributed P552.6-million worth (893,433 bags) to thousands of farmers in 557 out of 798 municipalities nationwide.

Under the mechanization component, identification, evaluation and field validation of farmers’ cooperatives are ongoing. They will be granted with P3-billion worth of various farm machinery starting the first semester of 2020.

For the training and extension component, a total of P878 million has been allocated, of which, P284.4M has been disbursed for trainings, communication materials, accreditation programs, and scholarships.

For credit, the Land Bank of the Philippines has disbursed a total of P358.2 M, and the Development Bank of the Philippines has released P283.5 million to hundreds of accredited farmers and farmers’ cooperatives nationwide.

“We aim that on the next six years as a result of RCEF, we will effectively reduce the average production cost of palay by P4/kg, from the current P12/kg, increase the average yield by at least two tons per hectare from the current four metric tons per hectare, and double the income of rice farmers,” he added.

In addition to RCEF, the DA has also rolled out the P2.5- billion SURE Aid program that offers P15,000- loan at zero interest payable in eight years to thousands of farmers nationwide tilling one hectare and below, and the P3-billion Rice Farmer Financial Assistance program that provides unconditional P5,000 cash assistance to farmers with one-half to two hectares of rice land. ### (DA Communications Group)

 

Reference:

Noel O. Reyes
DA Spokesperson
and Ass’t. Sec. for Communications and Media Affairs
CP: 09204889686  or 09566694611
Trunkline: 89298183

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