Retail prices of rice have risen by P2 per kilogram, driven by the increasing farmgate price of palay, as reported by the Grains Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRECON).
According to GRECON’s national president, James Magbanua, in the Visayas region, the purchase price of fresh palay has surged to P19 from P17 per kilogram, and it’s now between P24 and P25 for dry palay.
“The farmgate price of palay has increased since last week and it follows that once the farmgate price goes up, the retail price of rice will also go up. The P45 per kilo and P40 plus per kilo of rice is still available,” Magbanua said.
He mentioned that the purchase price of palay is even higher in Luzon.
Rosendo So, chairman of the farmers’ group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), previously stated that the farmgate price of palay has reached P27 per kilogram.
“The P27 per kilo buying price of palay is in Luzon. Here in the Visayas, it has yet to reach that level,” Magbanua said.
P2 per kilogram rice price increase implemented
He disagreed with So’s proposal for President Marcos to implement another price ceiling of P45 per kilogram of rice next month, considering the rise in the farmgate price of this staple.
He stated that farmers are gaining advantages from the upward trend in the farmgate price of palay.
“For the first time, I did not hear farmers complain about the low buying price of palay,” he said.
Magbanua suggested that the government should provide subsidies for the retail price of rice instead of enforcing a price ceiling.
“The government can subsidize, but not the price cap. If it will release funding, it is better to subsidize (the retail price of the grains),” he said.
“We need to implement a long-term solution to increase the yield (of the farmers) and lower the production cost. These should include transfer of technology, modernization of the sector and lower the production cost of the farmers. The government should address the high cost of farm inputs,” Magbanua said.
He assured that there would be ample rice supply during the peak harvest season.