Corn farmers prefer infra over cash aid

    360
    PhilMaize said the P3-billion rice tariff collection being proposed for distribution as cash aid to rice farmers should be put into more practical use like infrastructure which will benefit more farmers.

    The Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize) said farmers need better post-harvest facilities, storage and other farm infrastructures rather than cash aid.

    Roger Navarro, PhilMaize president, the P3-billion rice tariff collection being proposed for distribution as cash aid to rice farmers should be put into more practical use like infrastructure which will benefit more farmers.

    “We view this as if government is promoting our farmers in the state of being a mendicant rather than giving them dignity and respect. Our government should have used this money to empower our farmers by way of investing in the long-term sustainable projects that our farmers badly needs which are post-harvest and storage infrastructures,” Navarro said in a statement.

    PhilMaize said failure by the Department of Agriculture to provide basic infrastructure interventions to support farmers is also a failure to fulfill their mandate as stated in Magna Carta of Small Farmers.

    The Federation of Free Farmers have also opposed the cash aid and pushes for the temporary imposition of safeguard duties or additional tariffs on imported rice to discourage imports during the harvest season.

    Corn farmers have appealed for government support as early last month when farmgate prices have reached below the P11.20 per kg production cost due to a bumper harvest.

    PhilMaize has been asking for marketing support from the National Food Authority for the procurement of corn and to persuade feed millers to refrain from importing during the height of the harvest season.

    Farmers normally have two cropping seasons and harvest corn during the months of September and October and January and February.

    Yellow corn which takes up over 50 percent of the local feed formulation, is the preferred energy source in the animal feed.

    According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of fourth week of September, average farmgate price of yellow corn is at P11.83 per kg, 0.4 percent lower from the previous week’s P11.88 per kg. Likewise, average farmgate price of white corn is at P13.23 per kg, 0.1 percent lower from the previous week’s P13.24 per kg.