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DA proposes increased funds and a buffer reserve of NFA rice to cut rice prices.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced Thursday that increased financing and increased rice buffer stock will play a vital role in decreasing rice prices in the country.

Rice at PHP20 per kilogram, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, is only possible with strategic planning and programs “including all sectors.”

“It’s up to us to make it happen. Every ounce of efficiency; every ounce of good technology; every opportunity to empower farmers and engage the youth; we should invest more in post-harvest facilities like as drying, milling, and warehousing; we should invest, “During the Laging Handa briefing, he stated.

Dar, on the other hand, praised the aspirations of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s incoming administration, stating he shares the same “laudable” ambition.

He stated that bigger yields at reduced costs must be attained first.

Given the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia, these requirements remain a challenge.

“According to our current study, the cost of production will be three pesos and thirty centavos if the war in Ukraine continues. So, if you add it to the current level, creating a kilo of palay (unhusked rice) costs PHP11.50, or roughly PHP14.80, and the cost of manufacturing a kilo of palay costs fifteen pesos “In a combination of English and Filipino, he stated.

He also stated that “challenges and value chain techniques” must be identified.

“As I previously stated, we will boost productivity and yield targets, as well as seek to reduce manufacturing costs, which are now rising and which we want to decrease. As a result, we have a number of issues to address in this new initiative, which is geared toward the P20.00 rice price “he stated

According to Dar, the future administration may choose to invest in raising the National Food Authority’s (NFA) buffer stock, citing China and India as examples, both of which have a 365-day rice buffer store.

“For us to do this, we need to strengthen the NFA, boost buffer stocks, and expand the fund, as well as the money for capital expenditures. So, if we start in July towards the end of the year, they can have that capacity of good for 15 days, but if we have a stimulus bill, we should make sure that capital expenditures are raised so that next year they can move to full capacity of 30-day buffer stocking “he stated

To yet, the NFA has received just a PHP7 billion yearly budget, which can only offer 300,000 metric tons of buffer stock, which is only adequate for a week.

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