R4-A farmers enjoy high farmgate prices despite delayed harvest

Farmers in Region 4-A (CALABARZON) are still enjoying high farmgate prices for palay at P16 to P19 per kilogram for fresh and P21 to P23 for dry despite delays in harvesting their ‘pahabol’ crop to recover from the losses of their wet season crop from typhoons and habagat in recent months.

“Since 2019, these prices are the highest level yet and harvest in the entire region has only been 35 percent complete. We expect the harvest to be finished by end of November or early December,” said Maricris Ite, Regional Rice Focal Person of DA-RFO 4A.

Harvest began in the later part of October for some areas in the region but areas in Quezon province because planting had to be delayed with the release of irrigation water, she said. 

As for the expected yield, she said that based on the Philippine Statistics Authority, this would increase by 6 percent in the whole region “because the region received huge support first from the fertilizer donation from China and by the additional funds released by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of almost P113 million so this would help increase our yield by so much.”

During the past typhoons and habagat rains, around 2,000 hectares of paddy areas had been totally damaged and another 5,000 hectares partially damaged, Ite said.

CALABARZON has a total of  52,000 hectares planted to rice of which almost 10% has been damaged and for which a quick turnaround (or pahabol) planting had been undertaken.

Irrigated areas in Laguna and Cavite are now planting the dry season crop– to avert the impact of El Nino during the harvest of the first quarter of 2024– and the regional field office is now distributing inputs, biofertilizers and organic fertilizers and by this November, the RFO will be giving out fertilizer discount vouchers, Ite said.

For non-irrigated areas, she said, we have been informing the farmers as early as June 2023 to diversify to other crops like high value crops (vegetables), corn and livestock. We have also been distributing seeds and seedlings to the farmers so they can plant them after completing their harvest. (RDLC)

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