Saturday, October 19, 2019

19th October,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

19th October,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Rice farmers to get P5-K cash aid
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:30 AM October 19, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The government has decided to distribute P5,000 in cash assistance to rice farmers who continue to reel from plummeting palay prices following the implementation of the rice tariffication law.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar made the announcement during the sidelines of the India-Philippines trade consultation event on Friday, adding that they were hoping to give out the subsidies before Christmas.
The guidelines for the program is currently being drafted.
However, only 600,000 farmers who own one hectare of land or less and are included in the agency’s registry are expected to benefit from the program, or about 20 percent of the entire number of palay farmers nationwide.
Dar said the decision to give the cash dole-out was made after Cabinet officials rejected the imposition of additional tariffs on rice imports due to possible “inflationary effects.”
Dar noted, however, that increasing tariffs on rice would remain a possible option in the future as a means to temper the volume of the staple in the market.
The cash subsidy, which would total to about P3 billion, will come from import duties collected from the rice tariffication law. Tariff receipts from imported rice has already reached P11 billion, Dar said.
Under the law, the first P10 billion to be collected from rice tariffs must be used in specific programs for the modernization of the industry. Anything in excess may be used to supplement the said programs.

Rice farmers to receive one-time P5,000 cash assistance – Dar
Published October 18, 2019, 4:37 PM
By Madelaine Miraflor 
Government has deferred its plan to raise tariff on rice imports as part of measures to address the suffering of Filipino farmers, who are currently dealing with the declining price of palay amid the influx of imported rice in the local market.
Description: Agriculture Secretary Dr. William D. Dar (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Rice farmers will instead receive a one-time cash assistance of P5,000 each, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on the sidelines of the Philippines-India Trade Consultations Friday.
Dar said there were concerns among Cabinet officials that imposing higher tariffs on rice imports could have inflationary effect on the retail cost of rice, which has already gone down since the Rice Tariffication Act (RA 11203) was passed.
“What they want is to just give cash assistance,” Dar said, adding that only the farmers with one hectare and below will be given the cash assistance of P5,000 each.
Based on his estimates, only 600,000 farmers will benefit from this cash assistance program.
Dar said the guidelines for the cash assistance program – which will only cover as much as 600,000 farmers – is now being drafted and will be out soon.
“We’re hoping this can be given before Christmas,” Dar said. “[The money] will be given straight to the farmers.”
Dar’s statement came days after announcing that the Department of Agriculture (DA) already “terminated” the investigation on the possible injury that RA 11203 may have caused the local rice sector.
Under Section 10 of RA 11203, in order to protect the Philippine rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations, a special safeguard duty on rice could be imposed in accordance with Safeguard Measures Act.
The result of DA’s study would be the basis for the government to implement this safeguard measure, which would allow the government to raise the tariff on rice imports — a move that should temporarily discourage traders in bringing in more imported rice into the country.
When asked if the government is now totally scrapping the plan of raising tariffs on rice imports, Dar said it will always be an option.
Since RA 11203 was passed, more than 2 million metric tons (MT) of rice already entered the country. From this, the government had so far collected P11 billion in tariff revenues.
Such development, or the so-called influx of imported rice, is said to be the reason why the price of locally produced palay (unhusked rice) has been declining non-stop.
The latest data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of the fourth week of September, the average farmgate price of palay dropped further to P15.82 per kilogram (/kg), 29.3 percent lower from its price level of P22.36/kg a year ago.
Week-on-week, it slightly went down by 0.9 percent from P15.96/kg.
During the period, palay prices dipped to as low as P10/kg in Central Luzon, particularly in Bulacan. In some areas in MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, and ARMM, palay is bought for as low as PP11/kg to P12/kg.
This means that farmers in these areas had to sell their yield at a loss because the cost of producing palay remains at P12/kg.
Stop rice importation
Meanwhile, Senator Imee R. Marcos has appealed to President Duterte to temporarily freeze the importation of rice because it is hurting Filipino farmers.
This after Marcos discovered during the public hearing of the budget of the DA that imported rice are stocked in warehouses of rice traders who bought them from rice-producing countries in Asia.
The DA said the top five rice supplying countries from whom traders buy rice from are Thailand, Vietnam, India, China and Pakistan.
“I call on the President to freeze the importation of rice. There are many reasons why the importation of rice should be frozen: Impose a 800 percent taxes like what Korea and Japan do. Impose a strict sanitary and phytosanitary measures on rice, just like what other countries do on banana, pineapple and other Philippine products,” Marcos said.
Marcos said there is a cartel that smuggle tons and tons of rice, and there are rackets on the rice warehousing by rice traders.
“Even without amending the rice tarrification law, tigil na pansamantala yang importation hanggang end of the year, hanggang mabawasan ang laman ng mga bodega, I want to say pwede ba tigilan na ang pag-import ng bigas hanggang maubos na yan, kasi eto na ang main crop, ngayon na ang panahon ng anihan (Temporarily stop the importation of rice until the end of the year, until the rice stocks in warehouses are reduced. Temporarily stop rice importation until the imported rice are consumed. Rice is the main crop of our farmers. It is already harvest time), “ Marcos added.
The Rice Tarrification Law, Marcos said allows the President to stop the importation of rice when it negatively affects the earnings of farmers. (with a report from Mario B. Casayuran)

Cabinet more concerned with inflation than plight of rice farmers – Dar
Last updated Oct 19, 2019
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the government has decided to defer the implementation of safeguard duties on rice imports.
“I presented the proposal to the Cabinet and their decision (is that) there might be an inflationary effect,” said Dar.
Dar had previously agreed to invoke Republic Act (RA) 8800, or the Safeguard Measures Act, to impose a 30-percent to 80-percent duty on imported rice.
Palay prices have bombed after the Rice Tariffication Law and removed quantitative restrictions on rice imports and imposed a 35 percent tariff on imports from Southeast Asia.
Dar said there will be a meeting of the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) on October 24 to include discussion on the proposed general safeguard duty on rice import.
In view of the declining palay prices since the rice tariffication law took effect in March, the government will be giving P5,000 cash assistance to affected farmers tilling one hectare and below.
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Dar, on the sidelines of the ongoing Philippines-India Trade Consultations held at Shangri-la Makati on Friday, said the cash assistance is a one-time cash-out and this will be taken from the tariff being collected out of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).
Around P3 billion will be needed for the 600,000 rice farmer-beneficiaries in the country.
“I’m hoping that this (cash assistance) will be given before Christmas,” Dar said.
At present, he said about P11 billion have been collected from RTL.
The DA chief also clarified that the cash assistance was different from the earlier loan assistance of P15,000 offered by the government to affected rice farmers under the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid Program).
The P1.5-billion SURE Aid Program is the government’s initial relief response to rice farmers who are tilling one hectare of land and below and are affected by the initial impact of lower palay prices. The one-time, zero-interest, no collateral loan of P15,000 is payable up to eight years.
(With a report from PNA)

18.10.2019  GENERAL NEWS

Ghana To End Importation Of Rice By 2022 – Minister

By Richard Obeng Bediako

Description:  Kennedy Nyarko Osei
A Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, has revealed that Ghana is working around the clock to cease the importation of rice in the country based on the recent projections.
According to him, government is already working hard to ensure that rice imports will come to an end by 2022.
He said it follows the success chalked as the country did not import maize between January and September this year due to increased local maize production.