• Melo Acuna

Increase in palay harvest noted

Agriculture Secretary Dar reports significant increase in palay harvest

MANILA – Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the Philippine Statistics Authority reported an increase of at least half a million metric tons in palay harvest for this year’s third quarter or 16% increase year-on-year.

He described this as a “significant development.”

In a chance interview at his office, Secretary Dar said farmers stand to benefit from this increase in harvest although the challenge remains for farmers to sell their produce at a higher price.

“Today’s farmgate price is P19.00 a kilo for dried palay. NFA buys palay from farmers in their villages at P19.00,” he added.

Asked of possible impact of inclement weather due to the southwest monsoon in Vietnam and Thailand, two of the country’s top supplier of imported rice, Secretary Dar said there is no reason to fear.

“I assure you we have enough rice. And by the end of the year, we still have sufficient stocks to last for next year’s first quarter (Q1),” he said. He added Filipino rice farmers are expected to harvest their crops during the first few months of 2021.

Asked what is needed for farmers to increase their income, Secretary Dar said he proposed to Congress to provide funds for the government to heavily invest in post-harvest facilities include warehouses and milling facilities.

“We are projecting that under next year’s budget, most of the farmers’ worries on prices of palay and corn will be resolved,” he concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)

Secretary William D. Dar. (Melo M. Acuna Photo)

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