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Buying price of palay increases to P22 per kilo

MANILA, Philippines, October 4 ------ Farmers’ group Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. president Danilo Fausto said the farmgate price of palay has increased to P22, from the previous P15 to P17 per kilo, following President Marcos’ directive to increase the buying price of palay from the National Food Authority (NFA) to P23 per kilo. The farmgate prices of palay started to recover after a decline due to the implementation of a price ceiling of P41 and P45 per kilo for regular and well-milled rice, Fausto added. “When the price cap was implemented, the farmers feared that the traders would buy their palay at lower prices but after the buying price of NFA was increased to P19 for wet and P23 for dry, the buying price of palay recovered,” he said.

President Marcos earlier announced that the NFA Council set new buying prices for palay or unhusked rice to increase the income of farmers, adding that the NFA buying price is now P19 to P23 per kilo for dry palay and P16 to P19 per kilo for wet palay. Fausto added that Marcos’ decision on a proposal to temporarily cut the tariff on imported rice also helped prevent a slump in the farmgate price of palay. “It (rejection of tariff cut) also helped as if you will bring down the tariffs, you discourage local production. The assumption of our economic managers is that you can always buy rice abroad. We cannot depend on our supply of basic staple from importation,” Fausto said.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan were the main proponents of the tariff cuts on imported rice. “Our economic managers are not farmers, they do not even know what is happening on the ground,” Fausto said. “Two days ago, I harvested and was able to sell at P22 per kilo. If it is milled, under the 65 percent conversion, traders can sell at P36, P38 per kilo and retailers can sell at P41, P45 per kilo,” he noted.

Fausto said that the price cap can be lifted this month with the peak harvest season.



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