Rice prices are joining the inflation trend this month amid the country’s low rice output and the growing global demand for imported rice, farmers’ group Samahan ng Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) said.
In a GMA News report, SINAG President Rosendo So said prices would rise by a total of P2 per kilo—one peso this week, another peso the next week, as farmgate prices have increased by P40 to P50 per sack, equivalent to P0.80 to P1 per kilo increase for consumers.
“Factor is the farm gate price, from P21, it rose to P21.50, and even went up to P22,” said So. “Imported rice (also rose) from P1,800 per bag, it became P2,000 per bag.”
The group Bantay Bigas, for its part, said it had been expecting the price hike since last year.
“We know that the rise in rice is dictated by the importers. Retailers can’t do anything. Government can’t do anything because they don’t have rice stocks to release to the markets,” said Bantay Bigas Spokesperson Cathy Estavillo in Filipino.
Groups have called on the government to support farmers and provide additional subsidies for fuel and seeds. They also staged a rally in front of the Department of Agriculture offices to protest against the rising prices of basic commodities.
The DA, currently led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as concurrent Agriculture Secretary, said they are monitoring the rice prices.
“A dry season crop is always expensive. Our traders are in a tug-of-war for supplies. We have monitored this and talked to some organizations, and we have said that if they raise prices, let’s watch our markets. The cheapest rice is still sold at P38 a kilo, that’s still a normal price,” said DA Spokesperson Rex Estoperez.
Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net