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DA assures persistent price watch as costs of agri products drop

MANILA: The Department of Agriculture (DA) assured Monday of persistent monitoring on the prices of basic agricultural commodities in the country.

In a statement, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) has its regular price watch alongside other interventions beneficial to farmers and consumers.

De Mesa made the remark following the decline of prices on select agricultural commodities, including onion, tilapia, brown sugar and other vegetables in February, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“The report shows that red onions have reflected a PHP25.26 decrease in its average value per kilo from January to February,” the DA statement reads.

It dropped to PHP163.11 last month, lower than February’s first phase worth PHP174.91, as well as from January’s PHP188.37 average price per kilogram.

Around PHP1 to PHP2 price drops were also reported for tilapia and brown sugar and over PHP5 decline for eggplant from January to Fe

“For vegetables, eggplant has gone down from PHP91.51/kg to PHP86.18/kg in value from January to February,” the DA added.

De Mesa said other agricultural commodities are being sold at a more affordable price in the DA’s Kadiwa stores nationwide.

In terms of rice, he assured the country has adequate supply despite the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.

“In terms of supply, wala po tayong problema (we don’t have a problem), we have very healthy stocks and inventory of rice para po ngayong taon na ito (for this year),” De Mesa said in a separate statement.

He said the country, through the Bureau of Plant Industry, has received over 600,000 metric tons of rice imports since January.

According to the DA’s latest Bantay Presyo (price watch) report, the average weekly price of imported rice is at PHP50.20 per kilogram for milled and PHP53.11/kg for well-milled; while locally-produced rice is at PHP50/kg for milled and PHP52.44/kg for well-milled.

De Mesa said the expected peak of local harvest will start in
March to April.

Source: Philippines News Agency