DA chief wants Filipino farmers to have control of entire rice value chain
From planting to milling to marketing, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol wants the Filipino farmers to have full control of the entire rice value chain.
This, he said, is the only thing that can save the farmers from severe poverty.
“Why are the farmers so helpless in the face of fluctuating prices of their produce? Like, the rice farmers of Luzon now are reeling from the effects of the flooding of imported rice which pushed down the farm gate price of paddy rice to about P14 per kilo and even as low as P12 in some areas,” Piñol said.
“[And] while the farm gate price has dropped to as low as P14, the price of local rice in the market is still between P38 to P40 per kilo,” he added.
The rule of thumb in the rice industry is that the price of rice is double the farm gate price of palay, meaning if the buying price of palay now is only P14 per kilo, the selling price of rice in the market should only be P28 per kilo.
This means that the traders are making an extra P10 per kilo now from the paddy rice bought from the farmers at P14 per kilo.
“The answer to that question is what we have been trying to do in the Department of Agriculture since I assumed office three years ago [and that is to] lift the farmer and even the fisherman from the status of a raw material producer to a processor and marketer of his produce,” Piñol said.
“We did this by starting the TienDA Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Outlets all over Metro Manila where we encouraged farmers and fishermen to bring their products to the market and sell these directly to consumers. The rice farmer must be in full control of the whole value chain – from planting to harvesting to milling and the marketing of his produce,” he further said.