P20 per kilo of rice may be seen by early 2023 — DAR
MANILA, Philippines — A kilo of rice worth P20 may be available by early 2023, should president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. heed the proposal of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Marcos earlier vowed to bring down the price of rice as low as P20 per kilo.
DAR Secretary Bernie Cruz on Monday said that he hopes to discuss their proposal with Marcos, other government agencies, and local government units to achieve the aspiration.
“‘Pag na-discuss po natin ‘yung details with the president-elect, sigurado po na magkakaroon ng guidelines within the next six months ay makikita natin,” Cruz said in a press conference.
(When we discuss the details with the president-elect, we will have guidelines within the next six months.)
“Siguro po first quarter next year baka may makita po,” he replied when asked when the P20 per kilo of rice could be seen.
(Maybe by the first quarter of next year, we’ll see it.)
Cruz said that the aspiration is possible through the agency’s mega farm project.
DAR Undersecretary David Erro explained that they are eyeing fully mechanizing large hectares of land to yield massive production of rice to ensure food security and the farmers’ sufficient income.
“Now, under this program, ito na nga ‘yung (this is the) PBBM — Programang Benteng Bigas para sa Mamamayan. Ang prototype namin po rito ay 150,000 hectares na lupaing palayan (Our prototype here is 150,000 hectares of rice lands),” Erro shared.
He noted that fully mechanizing 150,000 hectares of land will result in around 23 million cavans of rice.
“So that sa isang 150,000 hectares na lupain na tataniman natin ng palay, ang maaari nating mapakain dito sa halagang P20 na bigas ay umaabot ng nine million,” the official said.
(In 150,000 hectares of land, which will be planted with unhusked rice, we can feed nine million individuals with P20 per kilo of rice.)
Citing data from the National Irrigation Administration, Erro said that the country has 1.2 million hectares of irrigated lands, mostly in Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley.
He added that there are also 2.3 million hectares of irrigable lands which could be tapped.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s report, there are 26.14 million poor Filipinos in the first half of 2021.
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