If you can buy a pricey plant, you can afford this palay-in-a-pot to help our farmers 2
You can get a pot of rice plant with 25 kilos of dinorado rice for P2,000, the same price of the now-trendy gabi plant.
Culture

If you can buy a pricey plant, you can afford this palay-in-a-pot to help our farmers

Affected by the rice tariffication law and the pandemic, this farmer hopes to increase the value of rice by putting it in a pot
RHIA D. GRANA | Oct 06 2020

Farmers, like many in this pandemic, are continuously finding ways to cope. For those planting rice, it’s not only the health crisis they have to deal with but the burden of the rice tariffication law (RTL).

Republic Act No. 11203, when it was implemented starting March 2019, supposedly has the objective of achieving food security for all and making the agricultural sector viable, efficient and globally competitive. The law allows for the liberalization of rice importation, removing the previously placed quota for imports and permitting traders to bring in a near-unlimited quantity of rice.

The implementation, however, resulted in higher rice prices for consumers but lower palay prices for rice farmers.

Ang effect po nito, bumaba ang demand sa local rice natin,” says Mark Suarez, general manager of Suarez Farms. “If dati ang price ng palay ay nasa P20 pesos up per kilo, bumaba siya to P17 per kilo, at ngayon nasa mga P15 per kilo na langSa dinorado po yan. Sa mga ordinary palay ngayonnasa mga P13 to P14 per kilo na lang. Bumaba ang price ng palay kaya mas lumiit ang income ng farmers. Worse, breakeven or lugi ang farmers.”

Seeing the rising prices of the very trendy indoor plants, however, Suarez thought it may be a good idea to put the palay plant in a pot, to raise awareness about the plight of Filipino farmers.

Sa halip na magreklamo po kami sa gobyerno dahil sa epekto ng RTL sa pagbaba ng presyo ng palay at since mas mataas po ang halaga kapag nakapaso ang halaman, na gustong-gusto lalo na ng mga plantito at plantita, eto na po ang solusyon namin. Available na po sa Suarez Farms ang ‘Palay sa Paso’ worth P2,000 ONLY,” Suarez posted on Suarez Farms’ Facebook page.

“Order na po kayo, makakatulong na kayo sa mga magsasaka, hindi pa tayo makakapinsala ng kagubatan. May FREE pa pong bigas na 25 kg yan,” the post read.

Suarez said the move is symbolic and he’s doing it “for good vibes,” because he found out that the rare gabi plants now sell for about P2,000 to P20,000 per pot. “Actually, it has no value here in Mindoro, kasi sa mga tabing-daan at gubat sya tumutubo at hindi naman po nakakain,” he tells ANCX via Facebook messenger.

Kaya naisip ko na since ang mga farmers natin ay hirap na hirap na sa baba ng presyo ng palay, why not ilagay po namin sa paso para tumaas ang value,” he says. The “Palay sa Paso” comes with 25 kg of Mario Rice Dinorado from Mindoro, named in honor of Mark’s father, Mario.

“[My father] is a farmer for 30 years and ito po ang nakatulong para makapagtapos din kami ng pag-aaral,” he tells me.

The youngest in the brood of four says life goes on for the farmers amid the pandemic.

Tuloy po sa tanim at sa pag-ani sa kabila ng pandemya. Same scenario po last year na bumaba po presyo ng palay at naulit na naman po, madami na naman po ang lugi,” says Suarez. So he is thankful that Session Groceries has given them the opportunity to sell their crops at a competitive price.

Sa halip na ipagbili namin ng palay yung ani namin, kami na po nagpa-process to rice. Then mas mataas po namin nabebenta at naturuan po kami to create our own brand,” he says.

“Palay sa Paso” can be availed via Session Groceries and the Suarez Farms Facebook page.