The National Food Authority (NFA) on Wednesday said that prices of commercial rice has seen a continuous decline since the first week of February as the palay harvest season reaches its peak.
NFA administrator Renan Dalisay said prices for both regular and well milled commercial rice started to decline since the first week of February as shown by data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
According to the government official, the average wholesale price of well-milled rice (WMR) went down from P39.02 per kilogram to P38.57 per kilogram and from P35.76 per kilogram to P35.35 per kilogram for regular milled rice (RMR) on the third week of March.
From a high of P42.12 per kilogram, average retail price of WMR went down to P41.72 and from P38.47 per kilogram to P37.97 for RMR during the same period.
Monitoring teams of the NFA have observed that the lowest price for well-milled rice was monitored at P30 per kilogram in Abucay Market in Tondo, Manila.
Well-milled rice priced at P33.00 per kilogram is also available in Pritil Market in Tondo, Manila and in Riverside Market and Luzon Talipapa both in Old Balara, Quezon City.
“Consumers will benefit from the continued decline of prices of commercial rice in the market as they get more value for their money,” Dalisay said.
He said that the continued downward trend in the prices of commercial rice is relatively due to the low farm gate price of palay.
Data from PSA showed that the average farm gate price of palay is higher at P19.91 on the third week of March last year as compared to P18.05 this year during the same period.
“As the palay summer harvest season has reached its peak, the law of supply and demand applies. Farmers in the traditional production areas in the country where a significant volume of palay is expected to come are already harvesting their crops,” Dalisay said.
However, farmers are having reservations with the decline of the farm gate prices of palay and feared that a continuous decline would lead to lesser income for them.
But Dalisay assured the farmers of the food agency’s readiness to procure their produce at the NFA-set price of P17 per kilogram if the farm gate price of palay continues to go down.
“Procurement funds were already remitted to NFA field offices while mobile procurement teams have already been mobilized to assist farmers especially in the remote areas. We have also mobilized 303 buying stations and mobile procurement teams nationwide to ensure that farmers can sell their palay at the government set price,” Dalisay said.