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Rice industry stakeholders ready to work with DA to reduce rice prices

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Photo from: DA RAFIS 6
MANILA – Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. on Tuesday expressed optimism that retail prices of rice will be further reduced with the help of rice industry stakeholders.
In a Facebook post, Laurel said he has consulted with various stakeholders over the government's initiative to lower the price of rice in the local markets.
"Nagpapasalamat ako sa rice industry dahil handa silang makipagtulungan sa gobyerno upang maging matagumpay ang inisyatibong ito (I thank the rice industry [stakeholders] because they are ready to work with the government to make this initiative a success)," he said.
According to the DA-Bantay presyo (price watch), the prevailing prices of local regular-milled rice in Metro Manila range from P45 per kilogram to P52/kg. and P48/kg. to P55/kg. for local well-milled rice; while imported regular-milled rice ranges from P48/kg. to P51/kg. and P52/kg. to P55/kg. for imported well-milled rice.
Lowering rice retail price initiatives include DA programs with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) through the Kadiwa stores.
"Nagsimula na din ang trial selling ng bigas sa P29/kilo sa piling Kadiwa centers. Bukod dito, inaasahan ng gobyerno ang pagbaba ng presyo ng bigas kasunod ng pagbawas sa (The trial selling of rice worth P29 per kilogram in select Kadiwa centers has begun. Besides this, the government also hopes to reduce retail price of rice through the reduction of) rice import tariff," Laurel said.
Rice import tariff was reduced from 35 percent to 15 percent.
Laurel, meanwhile, said lowering retail prices of the country's staple remains a key target of the administration despite the overall effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
"Mataas pa rin ang presyo ng bigas sa global market dahil sa epekto ng El Niño. Prayoridad ng Pangulo na gawing mas abot-kaya ang presyo ng bigas upang matulungan ang ating mga kababayan (The price of rice in the global market remains high due to the effects of El Niño. It is the priority of President [Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.] to make rice more affordable to help our people)," he said.
To date, the country has sustained P9.89 billion worth of agricultural damage due to the effects of El Niño, with the rice sector incurring P4.75 billion in losses.
Agri exports
Meanwhile, Tiu sought help from Japan's new Ambassador to Manila Endo Kazuya to boost Philippine agricultural exports to Japan.
In particular, the agriculture chief reiterated the country's request for a tariff cut for Philippine bananas, the revival of mango exports, and market access of fresh Hass avocadoes.
For banana exports, the country is ready to increase its volume delivery – which reached 3.4 million metric tons (MT) from 2021 to 2023 – with a tariff reduction.
Based on data, banana exports from the Philippines to Japan reached 241,282 MT from January to April 15 this year.
Mango exports, however, dropped from 59 MT in 2021, to 11 MT in 2023 due to the strict implementation of food safety regulations amid cecid fly infestations.
The Philippines is also expecting Japan's official announcement of market access for fresh avocadoes following its approval in principle in December 2023, Laurel said. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2024-Jun-14 08.39.24 UTC+0800