Rice at P25 a kilo portends trouble
OpinYon Panay

Rice at P25 a kilo portends trouble

Nov 14, 2023, 4:50 AM
Cheryl Luis True

Cheryl Luis True


Farmers at the Bigasan ng Bayan in Negros Occ sell cheap, subsidized rice… but for how long?

In recent news, it has come to light that farmers in Negros Occidental are once again selling their rice for a mere 25 pesos per kilo, sparking concerns and conversations about the challenging plight of our agricultural workers. This revelation should serve as a stark reminder of the immense challenges faced by these hardworking individuals and the urgent need for reforms in the agricultural sector to ensure their fair compensation.

Farmers in Negros Occidental belonging to the Federation of Irrigators’ Association of Central Negros-Bago River Irrigation System (FIACN-BRIS) sold rice anew for PHP25 per kilogram at the “Bigasan ng Bayan” located at the Food Terminal Market.

The FIACN-BRIS, comprising 44 irrigators associations, is divided into the North and South Districts.

FIACN-BRIS president Pedro Limpangog said they sold five kilograms each to 470 individuals in their latest offering of low-priced price in partnership with the provincial government.

“We are considering using the proceeds to buy more rice stocks and sell these again at a lower price. We want to help those in need,” he said in an interview.

Farmers’ selling their rice for such a low price should not merely be seen as an economic transaction but as a distress signal that demands our attention. It reflects a more profound and systemic issue within our agricultural industry that directly affects the livelihoods and well-being of those toiling the land to feed our nation.

Agriculture is the backbone of our country, and the men and women working tirelessly on the farms are the unsung heroes who ensure food security. They face numerous challenges, from unpredictable weather patterns to market fluctuations and high production costs. While they bear these burdens, they are often at the mercy of a system that undervalues their hard work.

The selling of rice at 25 pesos per kilo is not just an economic issue; it's a moral concern. It speaks volumes about the struggle of our farmers to make ends meet, provide for their families, and sustain their way of life. The price they receive for their produce is often insufficient to cover their production costs, let alone offer a reasonable profit margin.

To address this critical issue, it's essential to acknowledge that fair compensation for farmers is not just a matter of economics; it's a matter of justice. Ensuring that farmers receive a reasonable price for their produce is a fundamental right. They deserve to earn a livelihood that allows them to live with dignity and provide for their families without constantly being on the brink of poverty.

Government interventions, support programs, and policies prioritizing fair pricing for agricultural produce are crucial. These measures can include subsidies, price guarantees, better market access, improved infrastructure, and educational programs to enhance farmers' knowledge and capabilities.

Negros Occidental's farmers selling rice at a meager price of 25 pesos per kilo is not just an economic transaction; it's a wake-up call for all of us. It’s a reminder that the backbone of our nation, our farmers, need our support, respect, and fair compensation. It’s time for a collective effort to create a more just and sustainable agricultural system—one that honors the invaluable contribution of our farmers and secures their livelihoods for generations to come.

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