Farmers dare Yap to look into ‘rice overpricing’

by Jennifer A. Ng / Reporter

11 January 2010 ph/home/top- news/20794- farmers-dare- yap-to-look- into-rice- overpricing. html


FARMERS and civil-society groups dared the Department of Agriculture (DA) to look into possible rice-trader overpricing in the face of rising prices and called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to intervene in the market to arrest the price climb.
National Rice Farmers’ Council president Jaime Tadeo said, “Instead of dismissing the trend as a normal price movement, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap should hold the rice traders accountable for possible overpricing. He has no business attributing the current retail price of P36 per kilo to increases in farm-gate price of palay at P16 per kilo. The farmers have no more stocks left in their hands.”
He said traders bought the harvests in October and November at a “very low price” of only P7 to P8 per kilo when palay prices were on a downward trend as a result of the damage caused by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
He said palay spared from the typhoon’s wrath was bought at a slightly higher rate of P13 to P14 per kilo.
Nongovernment organization Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) called, meanwhile, on the NFA to intervene and flood the market with lower-priced rice.
“We want the government to send the unscrupulous rice traders a stronger message and action than Secretary Yap merely justifying the rising trend in prices,” said Jessica Reyes-Cantos, R1 lead convenor.

The groups held a press conference on Monday amid reports the average prices of rice in Cebu increased by P2 per kilo and P1 in Metro Manila.










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