Iloilo farmers can sell rice as low as P33/kg
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said a rice farmers’ cooperative, which participated in the TienDA Para sa mga Bayani in an Iloilo town, proved that locally produced rice could compete with imported rice in quality and affordability.
The Dingle Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DMPC), which received a Rice Processing Complex (RPC) and an initial working capital of P5 million from the Department of Agriculture (DA), had sold rice for as low as P33 per kilo for “bahay” and P37 per kilo for the well-polished rice.
The RPC was a grant by the government of South Korea through the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and was completed in the previous administration.
It is one of over 160 RPCs built all over the country, some of which were not working because the farmers groups lacked funds for the electrical connection and capitalization.
“The cooperative officials said they could support the DA’s Bigas ng Masa Program, which aims to provide affordable rice supply direct from the farmers to the consumers if they have enough capitalization to buy their members’ produce,” Piñol said.
According to Piñol, he already asked Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Executive Director Joselyn Badiola to consider the P10 million loan application of DMPC.
“I have also directed all the heads of the DA Regional Offices to link up with all farmers’ groups who received RPCs so they could supply rice to the Bigas ng Masa Program nationwide,” he further said.