The Department of Agriculture (DA) has adopted new initiatives that would help lower the price of rice and simultaneously provide relief to consumers and struggling farmers.
Following a recent meeting, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the National Food Authority (NFA) Council is flooding markets in major cities with rice imported by NFA.
“Starting on Thursday, NFA is flooding the markets with 3.6 million bags of imported rice using stocks stored in warehouses across the country. The wholesale price for the retailers is pegged at P25 and the retail price is at P27 per kilogram,” Dar told reporters in a press conference in Quezon City.
“Flooding the markets with 3.6 million bags of rice will have an impact on lowering the price of rice in the market.”
According to the NFA, the rice sale is seen to lower the price of commercial rice from P40 per kilo at the moment.
“The reasonable price of rice in the markets should fall within P32 to P34 per kilo, but if you look at the markets now, the lowest is P40 per kilo. This is despite the influx of imported rice in the country of about 2.4 million metric tons,” NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said.
NFA seeks to generate P4.86 billion, which would be used to procure palay or unhusked rice from local farmers.
The NFA Council headed by Dar also agreed to raise the grains agency’s palay support price to P19 from P17 per kilogram.
Since the council removed the P3 per kilo incentives for farmers who sell their produce to the state-run food agency, Dar said the P2 increase in palay price support could translate to an additional P8,000 income per farmer, based on the current national yield of four tons per hectare.