Can rice be lowered to P20 per kilo? Agri dept says possible with bigger budget

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2022 03:34 PM

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MANILA— The price of local rice can be lowered to P20 per kilogram if the cost of production is lowered, and the National Food Authority's buffer stock is raised, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Wednesday. 

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the NFA's budget should be increased to P30 billion from P7 billion annually to raise the country's rice buffer stock from 7 days to a month. 

This will maintain the farmgate price and procurement price between P19 to P20 per kilo, while the buffer stock will be rolled over to retailers, Dar said. 

Dar also said to lower the price of rice to this level, the top 20 rice-producing provinces should be given concessional loans. 

He also suggested that the P20 rice should only be sold by NFA retailers to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 

Presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. earlier proposed lowering the price of rice to P20 to P30 per kilo.

Marcos also said he would also have the Rice Tarrification Law amended and discourage the importation of rice.

The Philippine Confederation of Grains Association had said the P20 per kilo is only possible with government subsidy, and only for rice from the NFA.