Lost revenue of farmers due to lowering price of palay reaches P50-B – farmers group

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2019   •   360

Filipino farmers plant rice near the foot of Mt. Mayon Volcano in Guinobatan town, Albay province in Bicol region of the Philippines. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

The amount of losses that rice farmers have incurred has reached P50-Billion, based on the computation of the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF).

In a phone-patch interview, FFF’s national manager Raul Montemayor said farmers have already harvested around 10 million metric tons of palay, and that its farmgate price has gone low by five pesos per kilo.

He added that their yield can still go up as harvest time is still ongoing; however, the price-drop of palay continues.

The group is blaming the entry of imported rice for their losses.

They said, as of July this year, the amount of imported rice that has entered the country has reached 2.3 million tons, and this may go up to 3 million metric tons by this month.

This is twice the deficiency in the local produce.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earlier said that the volume of imported rice has gone beyond the country’s needs.

The farmer group believes that one way of solving this is to increase the tariff on imported rice.

“Kung masyadong malaki na yung taripa hindi na profitable sa importer na magpasok ng bigas,” Montemayor said.

DA Secretary William Dar said the department made an effort to launch an initial investigation last September to implement the general safeguard measure that will control the entry of imported rice in the country.

They, however, suspended this last October 10, following a Cabinet decision to just release additional financial aid to farmers.

“We discussed in the Cabinet that general safeguards duty was being investigated by DA. So after a good discussion, ang decision of the cabinet, instead of that ay magbigay ng Cash assistance and the government has set aside P3B,” Dar said.

The farmer group, however, sees this as just a band-aid solution.

“Habang namimigay siya ng P5,000 lumalaki naman yung lugi ng magsasaka dahil patuloy pa rin yung pagdagsa ng imports. So parang hindi siya solusyon, panakip-butas lang siya,” Montemayor said.

The DA said that as soon as the Rice Competitiveness and Enhancement Fund with a yearly fund of P10-Billion for six years is implemented, palay production expense will go down from P12 per kilo to just P6 per kilo. (from the report of Rey Pelayo) /mbmf

State of calamity declared in Davao Occidental town due to African Swine Fever

Robie de Guzman   •   February 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The town of Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental has declared a state of calamity after samples from 1,000 dead pigs yielded positive results for African Swine Fever (ASF).

The Municipal Agriculture Office on Monday confirmed that the town has been placed under a state of calamity on Sunday after authorities found that hundreds of pigs from eight of its villages were infected with ASF.

A memorandum issued by the local government identified these areas as Barangays Lindasan, North Lamidan, South Lamidan, Calian, Mabuhay, Lawa, Nueva Villa and Baluntayan.

In view of this, local authorities have activated the Regional Animal Disease Task Force to contain the swine disease.

Since the town has been placed on lockdown, the moving of hogs in and out of Don Marcelino, as well as selling of pork meat and other processed pork products will also be prohibited.

Quarantine checkpoints at the entry and exit points of the municipality were also ordered established.

Authorities said the investigation is still ongoing on how the swine disease from Luzon reached Davao Occidental. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

PH bans poultry meat from Poland

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities announced an import ban on poultry meat coming from Poland based on a memorandum order issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) dated January 21.

The ban covers the importation of all domesticated and wild birds even eggs and sperm from Polish chickens.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported an outbreak of bird flu or avian influenza with a subtype of H5N8 in Poland today.

“Gusto natin na ma-maintain natin sa free tayo,” explained BAI Director Ronnie Domingo.

“Ang posible lang na makapasok ay ang migratory birds or ang mga importation natin ng poultry coming from other countries. Kaya pagka ganyan na may report na sa ibang bansa, stop na,” he said.

BAI also noted an outbreak of bird flu from April to September 2017 in several municipalities in Central Luzon which impacted several farms in the region.

Thousands of fowls were culled to curb the spread of the disease.

But Domingo clarified that since the mid of 2018, the Philippines reported it has controlled the virus and eventually declared the country bird-flu free to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

A total of five countries were recommended to issue an import ban but it was Poland which the DA approved first, Domingo concluded. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

‘Tisoy’ destroys P530-M worth of crops in CALABARZON, Bicol

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2019

A handout photo made available by Greenpeace-Philippines shows villagers working among damaged houses in the aftermath of Typhoon Kammuri in Legazpi city, Albay Province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/BASILIO SEPE

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) reported an estimated damage to agriculture from the onset of Typhoon Tisoy in CALABARZON and the Bicol Region which reached to P530-million.

Based on initial assessment received by the Department, around 3,800 farmers and over 14,000 hectares of farm land were affected by the typhoon.

The DA assured to provide the affected farmers with seedlings to recover from their losses after the typhoon destroyed palay, corn and other high value crops in their areas.

Meanwhile, the DA has P250 million in Quick Response Fund which is readily available for rehabilitation of farm lands affected by the typhoon.

The said amount is apart from the P65-million fund under the Survival Recovery or SURE Program of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, for its part, also assured to pay for the damaged crops.  – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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