Help vegetable farmers to keep prices down, say officials
Economic managers recommended anti-drought measures, timed rice importation and energy efficiency programs to counter the effects of rising food prices, particularly vegetables.
The Department of Finance, in its latest economic bulletin, said food price increased by only 1.5 percent in February but the growth of vegetable prices is highest at 10 percent since November.
The vegetables sub-group account for about 3.2 percent in the CPI.
“The above price increase may continue due to the dry spell,” it said.
It said vegetable growers need help to cope with the effects of El Nino to keep food prices down.
It suggested “innovative approaches” to counter the dry spell in vegetable producing areas and to prevent further price hikes due to supply tightness.
Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said the “appropriate timing of rice importation remains critical to avoid supply disruptions which could result in unstable rice prices.”
“It is also important to implement energy efficiency programs to ensure that inflationary pressures coming from power shortages are tempered,” he said.