Find more info on, Agriculture has always been a vital part of the Philippine nation and culture. Email us at or send us a direct message at our Facebook Page. Photo sourced from Rice Pinas | @ricepinas, Join Non-profit Social Media Groups/Organizations. I hope you too can join in on the conversation and fight alongside them—with the initiatives of these many people and organizations, I hope our Filipino rice farmers won’t have to die for their trade. Data from Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) says otherwise, showing a P61.77 billion loss to Filipino farmers due to the rice import liberalization law. In recent years, however, our nation hasn’t been able to keep up with the agricultural modernization as compared to other parts of the world, Due to years of unresolved progress and modernization, along with the implementation of the, Rice Tariffication Law (Republic Act No. At that tariff level, Philippine Rice Research Institute vice president Flordelis Bordey says that 53 (or 65 percent) of our rice producing provinces will not survive. We are approaching the start of the main planting season and I share with all observers the view that low farm prices can discourage rice farmers from planting rice. Nowadays, people like to shop for their items through online shopping. However, RCEF is not ready yet, and certainly the productivity gains it can potentially help generate have not been not realized yet. Call 896 6000. Here are the different ways you can help our Filipino rice farmers. The more people we can get in on the conversation, then all the more ways we can create initiatives to help our farmers. What then must be done? The government can also start now to design a conditional cash transfer for rice farmers, which can be ready in a year or two. Photo sourced from Business Mirror Philippines | @BusinessMirror. With our rice farmers earning less than Php 200.00 a day, and palay (unhusked rice) being sold at a drastically low Php 7.00/kilo from the production cost of Php 12.00, our food providers can’t even provide for their daily living. At this rate, the most conservative P4 estimated price decrease, they lose P80 billion (and P140 billion,  if we assume the average P7-price decrease ). This initiative should have started years ago to prepare our farmers, not now when the tariff is already in place. This then creates competition with many of our Filipino rice farmers, causing them to struggle to make ends meet. Government officials said the rice retail price would go down by P7 to P10. causing them to struggle to make ends meet. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. It may be time to think of alternative delivery mechanisms of the assistance to be funded from RCEF. This is because the trigger import volume that would allow SSG has already been surpassed  (i.e, January to July imports are at 2.3 million tons). The direction of these changes is expected, and validated by the statistics that we read at this point. Let us know your thoughts. This process, however, adds additional fees to the product, What we can do is to buy directly from local markets or. The second DA duty is take immediate action to alleviate the plight of the farmers by providing them measures to cope with their lost income. The features of the rice tariffication law has the potential of becoming an inclusive trade liberalization reform. Don't miss out on the latest news and information. It is 70 percent. This process, however, adds additional fees to the product— fees that do not go to our farmers. This has caused reduction in the purchasing power of the incomes of the poor, including landless farmers and urban poor workers whose spending on rice … The frontier milling conversion rates (palay to milled rice) these days is 65%, but to my recollection we still have many rice mills with 60% conversion rates. If we do not, worse things will happen. It is produced extensively in Luzon, the Western Visayas, Southern Mindanao, and Central Mindanao.. Total production. On the import side, the risk remains that exporting countries may restrict rice exports for one reason or another such as what transpired in 2008. They get the produce of farmers to the market as most of our farmers do not have the capacity to do so. even through the simplest ways you can. Action for change isn’t a one-time movement. Calls for the review of the rice tariffication law at this point are premature as it has been less than a year since it started being implemented. They also said farmers would become more competitive. These two are just the more well-known ones. Secretary Dar, who has yet to warm his seat at the Department of Agriculture (DA), has to think beyond what several past administrations in the DA had been doing to deliver development funds to improve the productivity of our rice sector. Featured Image from Rice Pinas Facebook page. 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The biggest agricultural product is rice, and the largest number of agricultural workers are found in it. The rest is with Secretary Dar, with all our support. This then creates competition with many of our Filipino rice farmers. With many farmers considering leaving this sector, and generations of their kin losing interest in continuing the trade, the whole country will suffer—and we can’t blame them. If we have the capability to go to these, then we should buy from them without the interference of middlemen. ASEAN cooperation is important to provide us with an effective early warning system for this type of risk or to avoid it. Our Congress has wisely supported this with the Safeguard Measures Act (RA 8800). Its revenues go to RCEF, which can accumulate at least P10 billion a year to give rice farmers the opportunity to retool and make rice farming in the country more productive, or even to assist them to shift to other farming businesses. which removes the regulation of imported and domestic rice in the country, various businesses have chosen to import crops from elsewhere due to its cheaper price. Some groups even set up local markets nearer to the city for our convenience, and you can even meet the farmers themselves! It is now up to the DA to find solutions to defend our rice farmers from this aberration that is causing so much suffering. Incentives to rice farmers may also be provided through conditional cash transfers for beneficiaries staying in the rice industry. Farm-gate prices are decreasing from P4 to P10 per kilo. The DA must move quickly, lest dissidence and violence replace  disappointment. What then is an equitable tariff today? One short-term measure is supporting palay prices: let the NFA, which continues to have a commercial role in the industry by procuring local rice for buffer stocks, procure more rice and at a higher price. With our rice farmers earning less than Php 200.00 a day, and palay (unhusked rice) being sold at a drastically low Php 7.00/kilo from the production cost of Php 12.00, our food providers can’t even provide for their daily living. While the private sector is finding its commercial bearings in the local rice and palay markets, the public sector may come in significantly to create a market for our rice farmers, temporarily. If the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program can do it to help poor children, why not similarly help farmers who are suffering because of previous government inaction? It is now 14 days, and we are still waiting. The reason: Lack of necessary support from the government. You Can Now Order Food From Filipino Farmers Delivered Straight to Your Door, Siglo’s Farm to Fork Initiative: Encouraging the Community to Support Local Farmers.