Department of Agriculture to help farmers lower production cost as rice prices rise

2023 April 11

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday assured intervention to help farmers lower production costs, which is considered a major factor in the rising market prices of rice.

In a teleradio interview, DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said the department is closely coordinating with the group of rice farmers as prices increased to as much as PHP5 per kilogram.

Tinitingnan ng ating kagawaran kung paano ba natin sila matutulungan kung paano pababain ‘yung kanilang cost of production. ‘Yung ating distribution po ng ating machinery not only for production po, but also for post-harvest facilities din po (The department is looking into how to aid farmers in lowering production cost. [That includes] our distribution of machinery not only for production but also for post-harvest facilities),” she said.

Evangelista cited various challenges that contributed to the rising farm-gate and market prices, including higher cost of agricultural inputs and climate change.

According to Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), the Philippines is not the lone country affected by the mounting production cost, but also other rice-producing nations.

So kung makita natin doon sa merkado, ‘yung presyo ng local natin, tumaas na rin ‘yung presyo, pero mas mataas pa rin ‘yung imported. Nakita natin ‘yung Thailand, Vietnam and itong India, and Pakistan, tumaas din ang presyo. Maski imported man o local, tumaas (So if we check the market, the local price [of rice] increased, but the price of imported rice is still higher. We saw Thailand, Vietnam, India and Pakistan, and their prices also increased. Whether imported or local, the [price] increased),” SINAG chairperson Rosendo So said in a teleradio interview.

So said the market price of local well-milled rice increased by PHP5, now ranging from PHP42 to PHP43 per kilo, higher than the previous PHP37 to PHP38 per kilo.

Ang farmgate price sa palay, tumaas na, mga PHP3.50. Kung nagiling na na bigas, mga PHP5 ‘yan (The farm-gate price of palay already increased, around PHP3.50. For milled rice, around PHP5),” he said.

However, another price increase may be felt for the imported rice from the earlier PHP2 to PHP3 adjustment, he added.

Meanwhile, So said the group is expecting a lower market price of rice for the next harvest considering the decline in input cost.

Yung next season, we hope na itong October to December, pababa na ‘yung presyo kasi ‘yung pataba e bumaba na rin ([For] the next season, we hope that by October to December, the price will drop because the fertilizer prices already declined),” he said.

To date, around 60 percent of the production cost comes from farm input expenditures, resulting in the movement of farmgate and market prices. 

Stephanie Sevillano