DA seeks to raise PH rice self-sufficiency level to 95% to stabilize rice, palay prices

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) hopes to stabilize prices of palay and rice this year by raising the country’s rice self-sufficiency level to 95 percent.

DA spokesperson Noel Reyes said in a phone interview that the goal was to increase the buying price of palay to P19 a kilogram to shore up the income of rice farmers and then bring down the price of a kilo of regular milled rice to P34 to ease the burden on consumers.

To do this, the Duterte administration targets to produce 20.47 million metric tons (MT) of palay with the help of at least P25 billion worth of interventions under the rice competitiveness enhancement fund, rice resiliency project, and the regular national rice program.

“With tightening global food supply due to the coronavirus pandemic, we will strongly implement interventions to attain a higher rice adequacy level from last year’s 90 percent to about 95 percent this year,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

As of December, the farmgate price of palay was at P16.43 a kilogram—the highest in 12 weeks, but still short of the agency’s targeted buying price of P19 a kilo.

Similarly, the average price of a kilo of regular milled rice was pegged at P36.17 a kilo or 6 percent higher than the agency’s target.

The low price of palay remains a weak point in the industry’s value chain as farmers continue to earn less. This has been a major disincentive for Filipino producers, noted in the shrinking hectarage for producing palay. INQ


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