The price of palay is low in some provinces – something that groups point to in the plentiful and cheap imported rice.
According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (sinag) monitoring, the new rice harvest in region 1 is P14 per kilo, P13.50 per kilo in region 2, and P10 per kilo in Mindoro.
This is low compared to the production cost or what farmers spend on planting up to P15.50 per kilo of rice.
According to SINAG Chairman Rosendo So, the newly harvested palay should be at least P17 per kilo and the dried palay at least P20 per kilo.
“Ang fresh harvest dapat ibenta ng P17 para kumita sila ng P1.50/kilo. Kung ang ani nila is 4 tons, ang mangyayari niyan is 4 tons times 4,000 kilos times P1.50. May P6,000 sila sa isang ektarya kung ang presyo is fresh harvest sa P17. Ngayon P14 yung fresh harvest so lugi talaga sila,” said So.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA, the farmgate price of palay will be lower in 2020 compared to previous years.
According to Federation of Free Farmers National Manager Raul Montemayor, rice prices have fallen today because of the large and very cheap imported rice.
He also said the Rice Tariffication Law did not help as it promised bigger profits for farmers and cheaper rice for consumers.
Farmers decry low prices of palay
Instead, the price of imported rice continues to fall.
“Malaki ang ibinagsak ng presyo ng imported rice from July to August so i think this is creating added pressure on palay prices. Nakikita ng mga local traders, sasabihin nila, ‘yan na naman yung murang imports, kailangan bumili tayo nang mura kasi pag dumagsa na naman yung murang imports na yan pagdating ng Sept to November eh malulugi na naman tayo,” said Montemayor.
The problem is, consumers, do not feel the declining price of imported and local rice in the market.
According to the Department of Agriculture monitoring, the price of imported rice is still P45 to P50 per kilo.
Local rice costs P38 to P50. Therefore, there was almost no difference in the price of local rice in September of 2019 and 2020 based on the PSA.
Agriculture Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes said there are traders taking advantage.