Farmers call on gov’t to solve palay price distortion
Farmers from the top producing provinces of Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija are calling on government to correct the price distortion on palay, rice and darak if it wants to have rice self-sufficiency for the country.
Oftociano Manalo Jr, former region 1 president of Pambansang Mannalon-Maguuma-Magbabaul-Magsasaka ng Pilipinas or P4MP, told Politiko that the price of freshly harvested rice this cropping season has dropped at prices lower than darak.
Darak is a derivative of rice milling operation the output of which is usually sold as feeds for pigs.
“Bakit mas mahal ang pagkain ng baboy kaysa pagkain ng tao?” Manalo said. “Eh, by-product lang ng palay ang darak!”
Manalo said that there is something wrong in the rice industry when traders are buying fresh palay harvest at ten pesos per kilo or less while darak is sold at P13 per kilo.
He said that it is their theory that there is scarcity of darak in the market causing its price to be high while palay is bought low here in Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija because of the presence of imported and smuggled rice.
“Madaming imported at smuggled rice, baha ng bigas kaya mura, May mga imported na bigas pa na hawak ang NFA na ready for release,” manalo said. “wala namang imported na darak.”
He also said that it is irregular that the price of milled rice is not going down even if traders by palay at very low prices.
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