Palay prices up 0.1% month on month in May

THE average farmgate price of palay (unmilled rice) rose 0.1% to P17.24 per kilogram in May compared to April, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The year-on-year rise was 1.6%.

“Compared to the previous month’s year-on-year growth, higher annual increases in the average farmgate prices of palay during the month were noted in Central Luzon, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula,” the PSA reported.

“In addition, after exhibiting negative annual (growth) rates in the previous month, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Visayas, and Davao Region posted positive annual growth during the period,” it added.

Western Visayas registered the highest annual increment of 10.2% this month while Mimaropa had the steepest decline at 5.8%.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who is also Agriculture Secretary, ordered the department to focus on increasing agricultural production and ensuring ample supply to keep prices affordable.

Undersecretary for Consumer and Political Affairs Kristine Y. Evangelista said that the government is focused on stabilizing prices.

“When (Mr. Marcos) told us before that we have to reconstruct the value chain, it’s taking into account (our) supply sources and at the same time the demand requirement of consumers, including institutional buyers, industrial users,” she added.

The DA is currently assessing its current projects and programs, according to Ms. Evangelista.

With high input and production costs inevitable due to the crisis in Ukraine, she said that there is also a need to review the distribution of subsidies to farmers, fisherfolk, and animal raisers. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson