MANILA, Philippines – Prevailing farmgate prices of palay has plummeted to an 8-year low, with production cost staying the same.
As of the 3rd week of September, palay was sold at P15.94 per kilo on average, over 30% lower from prices a a year ago, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Prices dropped to as low as P10 per kilo in some areas. The highest price was at P21.
In the Philippines, the production cost of palay is at P12 per kilo. This means that farmers are already selling at a loss or with very meager earnings. (READ: [ANALYSIS] Plummeting rice prices: How will our rice farmers cope?)
Central Luzon, particularly Bulacan, registered the lowest farmgate prices.
As of the latest data, only 10 provinces report prices at the P12-level or lower.
Data from Nueva Ecija was initially unavailable from the PSA website. After Rappler's inquiry on the matter, the agency updated the spreadsheet.
Prevailing prices there stood at P14.99. Farmers from this province previously told lawmakers that palay was sold to as low as P7 per kilo there.
Retail prices of well milled rice was at P42 per kilo, while average prices of regular milled rice stood at P38 in Nueva Ecija.
On the national level, well milled rice and regular milled rice prices averaged at P42.11 and P37.66, respectively.
Farmers have already sought for relief, but the government is not keen on giving cash dole outs, as it supposedly defeats the purpose of rice tariffication law.