Palay prices continue to slide
The average farm-gate price of palay slid further during the fourth week of December while rice prices in the market increased, government data showed.
Based on the latest reports from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the buying price of palay fell to P15.63 a kilo, down 0.2 percent and 22.4 percent from week-ago and year-ago levels, respectively.
However, the average price of regular milled and well-milled rice picked up by less than a percent to P36.60 and P41.52 a kilo.
The lowest quotation for palay during the period was recorded in Zamboanga Sibugay where a kilo was sold at P10. Meanwhile, the buying price of palay was highest in Southern Leyte where it was sold at P20.40 a kilo.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said various agencies were expected to spend P53 billion for the purchase of palay this year to help the local farm sector. This is expected to prop up prices and help farmers recover from the continuous slump.
Nonetheless, agricultural groups said the government must focus on providing long-term solutions, one of which is the imposition of additional safeguard duties on imported rice. INQ
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