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'P8 palay price not an exaggeration'.

'P8 palay price not an exaggeration' !-- -- ( - September 3, 2019 - 7:42pm MANILA, Philippines Complaints from farmers' groups that the prices of palay (unhusked rice) have fallen to as low as P8 per kilo since the enactment of a law allowing unrestricted importation of rice were not exaggerated, former Agrarian Reform SecretaryRafael Mariano said Tuesday.

"Reports that palay bought at a price ofP8 per kilo from our farmers were not exaggerations..

. You can't say that's an exaggeration because that's the actual experience of the farmers," Mariano said at a Senate hearing.

Leaders of farmers' organizations and the agriculture sector complained that palay prices have been falling and are now at the P8 to P10 per kilo level, or P2 to P4 less than their production cost of P12 per kilo. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows average prices of dry palay hover around P16 to P18 per kilo.

But farmers' groups disputed this data during Tuesday's congressional hearing, saying the PSA's tally does not reflect the situation of local farmers on the ground. Lawmakers are pushing for an additional P15-billion budget for the National Food Authority to procure more palay from local farmers amid the drop in farmgate prices as a result of the deluge of cheap imported rice.

Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Sep 3, 2019
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