Close  
Inflation impact

Farmers reel from higher production costs

Different urban poor groups led by Tindig Pilipinas hold a die-in protest to symbolize the burden brought by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law at PNR train station in España, Manila on Thursday. PHOTO BY EARVIN PERIAS

Jaime “Ka Jimmy” Tadeo, a rice farmer from Plaridel, Bulacan province, watches his household’s budget with eagle eyes.

As food prices rise, he and his wife find it increasingly difficult to put food on the table.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The prices of goods keep rising. The cheapest fertilizer we use cost P890 per bag before. Now, it’s P910 and it will surely go up,” Tadeo said.

The cost of tilling his farm using a hand tractor has also gone up to P6,400 per hectare from P5,800.

FEATURED STORIES

‘Never-ending’ cost rises

The same goes for 67-year-old Oftociano Manalo, a rice farmer from Balungao, Pangasinan province. Planting rice on his 9-hectare farm becomes more difficult each season because of the “never-ending” rise in the cost of inputs and labor.

“Labor for planting per hectare by contract is now P5,000, excluding snacks. Last year, it was only P4,500, including snacks,” said Manalo, former president of the Pangasinan Federation of Irrigators’ Associations.

Manalo pays his workers for every step of production, from preparation of rice seed beds to harvesting paddy.

“How about the fertilizer, insecticides and fuel expenses for our water pumps when we irrigate our farms?” he said.

Last year, Manalo said he spent P45,000 per hectare. This year, he estimated the cost per hectare could reach P55,000 based on current prices of labor and goods.

He said most farmers borrow capital from rice traders, whom they paid with their harvest.

ADVERTISEMENT

Poor farmers, he said, prefer not to borrow from government banks because of hefty requirements.

 

Rising inflation

Tadeo and Manalo are among millions of farmers overburdened by rising inflation, which hit 5.2 percent in June, the highest in more than five years.

While rice farmers often keep a portion of their harvest for their own consumption, they eventually end up buying their own produce in the market at a higher price.

Currently, the average retail price of regular-milled rice is P40.57 a kilogram and well-milled rice, P44.21, up 7.67 percent and 5.77 percent, respectively, from last year.

The buying price for paddy rice breached the P20 per kg mark in March, the first time in nearly three years, but industry groups said this was not enough to offset the rising costs of basic goods.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the food index alone rose 5.8 percent in June as the prices of commodities like rice, corn and other cereals rose.

“Everyone has been impacted. Producers are also consumers,” Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chair Rosendo So said. “The government must implement mitigating programs.” — WITH A REPORT FROM GABRIEL CARDINOZA

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: cost rises, Farmers, food prices, higher production cost
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
lifestyle

John Lennon’s round glasses sell for nearly $200,000

December 14, 2019 11:39 AM

newsinfo

Elderly ‘bookies’ bet collector held in Quezon

December 14, 2019 10:50 AM

newsinfo

Plane bound for Japan veers off Naia runway

December 14, 2019 10:45 AM

globalnation

US Pacific commander says China seeks to intimidate region

December 14, 2019 10:44 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.