NIA: Farmers must capture value added in palay via contract farming

MANILA: The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said Tuesday that farmers could increase their profit if they capture the value added in palay (unhusked rice) through contract farming.

At the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing, NIA Administrator Eduardo Guillen said the program is not limited to providing more affordable rice to consumers, as it could also benefit farmers if they become ‘entrepreneurs.’

‘Ito po iyong gusto ng ating Pangulo (President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.). Sana iyong ating mga farmers ay ma-capture naman nila iyong whole value chain ng rice production… Huwag na sila magbenta ng palay na po sa susunod, bigas na (This is what President Marcos wants. Hopefully, our farmers could capture the whole value chain of rice production… Next time, they should sell rice instead of palay),” he said.

Guillen explained that farmers under contract farming are prioritized in the distribution of farm equipment, particularly the rice processing system of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Deve
lopment and Mechanization (PhilMech).

On average, the value added from palay production to rice milling is worth PHP37 per kg.

‘So biruin niyo, kung kahit PHP20 iyong ma-capture nung mga farmers natin dito for every 1,000 hectares na ma-consolidate natin (So even if our farmers only capture PHP20 for every 1,000 hectares that are consolidated) per town, that would mean around PHP100 million na ma-capture po ng mga farmers natin to, mga cooperative natin (that would be captured by our farmers, our cooperatives),” Guillen said.

Under contract farming, farmers can secure income even at a farmgate price of at least PHP20, considering that the cost of production only ranges from PHP13.90 per kg. to PHP14.20 per kg.

The production cost is slashed through government support, which includes the distribution of seedlings, fertilizers, and mechanization.

Guillen, meanwhile, said the contract farming program would continue to be rolled out, with the new batch targeting farmers not included in the Registry System fo
r Basic Sectors in Agriculture.

Earlier, the Department of Agriculture confirmed the President’s instructions to expand and implement the program in the upcoming wet season planting to make more affordable rice available in the market.

In August, the NIA is set to sell 100 million kg. of rice at PHP29 per kg. in Kadiwa stores in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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