first_img“Our mayor is planning to buy theirproduct similar to the buying price of NFA,” he said. If farmers will rely ontraders, then the latter will just freely decide on the buying price of palay, he added. Under the SURE Aid, rice farmers who aretilling a hectare of rice land or less can avail of the one-time, zero interestloan program of P15,000, payable up to eight years. Lambunao Municipal Agriculturist RichardCatedral said Wednesday that monthly, the town’s agricultural technicians meetwith farmers’ cooperative and federation, and one of the concerns always raisedis the low buying price of palay andthe high cost of farm input. He said that engaging in farmingnowadays is very expensive. He lamented that when he sells his produce, thetraders only priced his palay betweenP10 to 14 per kilo. If the loan program goes full swing,more or less 4,000 of the 6,000 rice farmers in Lambunao are eligible to avail. He said that within the week, the localgovernment unit will start buying the palayproduce of rice farmers in Lambunao. He said the Sangguniang Bayan has approveda P1.6-million budget intended for the program. In the past weeks, the farm gate priceof freshly harvested palay was at P8per kilo and between PHOTO BY IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN P9 to 10 per kilo when brought totraders in the poblacion. This week,the buying price for freshly harvested palay was at P13 a kilo. Nancy Lastimoso, 64, a farmer fromBarangay Maite Grande, Lambunao said that they welcome any intervention fromthe government. She has been into farming for more than 40 years and shelamented the low buying price of palay. ILOILO – The government’s Expanded Survival and Recovery AssistanceProgram for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid) can be of big help to farmers who are nowreeling from the impact of the Rice Tariffication Law, a local governmentagriculturist here said.center_img Currently, her palay is already on itsvegetative stage but already she has spent more than P10,000 starting from landpreparation and other farm inputs. From land preparation and farm implements,he spends around P20,000. Good for him because he has his hand tractor so he nolonger has to pay for labor. “We will have an orientation about theloan program this Friday,” he confirmed. She has less than a hectare of riceland, which during the favorable condition, produces around 30 to 35 sacks forevery cropping. However, if the weather condition is not good, her producecould not even reach 15 sacks in one cropping. The more than two-hectare rice land thathe tills can produce up to 150 sacks of palay during good weather but could noteven reach 30 sacks when the weather is unfavorable. David Evasco, 62, of BarangayTranghawan, Lambunao, expressed his difficulty being a farmer for more than 40years. While the buying price of palay is low,yet the price of rice is still around P2,000 per bag or equivalent to 50 kilos. The rice farmer said that if the buyingprice of palay will increase, then itis going to be a welcome development. Around 12,000 hectares of the land areaof the municipality are considered agricultural area. Some 50 percent of theagricultural lands are utilized for rice farming. (With areport from PNA/PN)last_img

Iloilo farmers welcome loan aid as ‘palay’ prices plunge

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