Lawmaker wants P1-B given to every rice producing district in PH
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said that an initial P1 billion for the construction of one warehouse and rice mill should be given in every rice-producing district to help rice farmers already in dire straits due to the unimpeded rice importation allowed by the Rice Tariffication Law.
In Senate Bill 33, or the Post-Harvest Facilities Support Act of 2019, these structures as well as the equipment and machinery that government will be mandated to buy shall be sold to accredited farmer cooperatives at cost amortized for 25 years.
“We want to raise the incomes of our farmers. We want to ease their hardships a little. We want them to see a future in feeding us,” said Pangilinan.
Pangilinan said enabling farmers to own their own post-harvest facilities would increase their income as well as reduce their post-harvest production losses.
“Every grain of rice represents life. And every grain wasted reduces the income of our farmers,” Pangilinan said.
“When they have facilities like warehouses, tractors, and rice mills, rice wastage is reduced, yield is higher, our farmers’ incomes will increase,” he added.
Citing a study by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Pangilinan said that a total of 16.47 percent grain losses are incurred post-harvest, with drying and milling having the highest recorded losses with 36 percent and 34 percent share respectively.