MANILA — Prices of commercial rice in the market have declined by as much as PHP5 per kilo and are likely to drop further by the end of month, giving some relief to consumers.
“As projected, prices of commercial rice in the market have started to stabilize as harvests have begun and the shipment of imported rice by the private sector has arrived,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
Piñol cited reports from the region indicating that price of rice could fall even lower by the end of October, when the suggested retail prices (SRP) for three classifications of commercial rice will be implemented.
He earlier identified these rice classifications as regular milled, well milled, and whole grain or head rice.
“The drop in the price of rice was an added relief to the stabilization of the supply and prices of vegetables as early as last week,” he said, noting the good weather and additional sources of vegetables in Northern Mindanao identified and linked to the markets.
As the price of rice in the market drops, the agriculture chief said rice farmers are starting to complain about the decline in the
buying price of their produce to only PHP16 per kilo from a high PHP25 a month ago.
Piñol said the DA and the National Food Authority (NFA) started to procure rice from farmers for PHP20.70 to protect them from plummeting prices.
“Incentives like farm machinery and equipment, including free drying of their produce in NFA dryers, are also being offered to the farmers,” he said.
Piñol also directed the formulation of policies and guidelines for the free seeds incentives program for farmers who will deliver their palay to the NFA.
“The program will be implemented starting the next harvest season which would be first quarter of 2019,” he said.
The free seeds incentives program will be on top of the other incentives already offered by the DA to farmers’ cooperatives and associations who will sell their produce to NFA, he added. (PNA)
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