Abono wants soaked palay sold at pre-Lando prices
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
ROSALES – The Abono Party-list group wanted ready- to- harvest but flood- soaked palay in Pangasinan dried at the palay and corn drying facilities and sold at the pre-typhoon Lando prices.
Engineer Rosendo So, the group’s chair, said he would seek assistance of various agencies and organizations to help the affected farmers on their dilemma.
“Despite being soaked by flood, we want the prices of palay be the same as before the typhoon. So what we are going to do is bring them to the drying facilities in Villasis and Alcala,” he stressed.
The corn and drying facilities in the two towns were flag ship projects of former Representative Mark O. Cojuangco when he was the representative of the 5th Congressional District. They were implemented by his wife, now fifth district Rep. Kimi Cojuangco.
So said he would ask traders to buy the dried palay at prices that would not be disadvantageous to the farmers.
To make that possible, So said, he needed the cooperation of the officials of the local government units like the Municipal Agricultural Officials (MAO) and the heads of the irrigation associations.
He wanted the farmers and the traders to transact directly instead of going through middlemen who are dictating the prices on the farmers.
So said before howler Lando wrecked havoc on the palay farms, the dried round palay was P17 a kilo while long grain was P18 per kilo.
“Kasi before iyong bagyo ang wet na ramble nasa P14 iyong long grain nasa P15 ang pasa. Ang dried nasa P17 iyong ramble (Before Typhoon Lando the buying price for the wet palay was P14 a kilo while the long grain was P15 per kilo while the dried ramble was P17 a kilo,” he said.
He said he feared that up to 98, 000 to 100,000 hectares of the 170,000 hectares of rice farms in Pangasinan were affected by the typhoon.
“If they could not recover those wet palay, 40% of the 98,000 to 100,000 hectares would be affected,,” he assessed.
The ideas of meeting the farmers, MAO, and irrigators association officials on this issue ensued after So saw the inaction of the provincial government on the plight of the farmers.
“Wala kasi ginagawa iyong provincial (government) doon sa procurement ng mga palay ng mga magsasaka. So naiisipan natin ime-meet natin ang mga magsasaka mamayang hapon mga irrigators saka mga municipal agriculturists to procure iyong mga wet palay nila (The provincial government neglected the farmer in interceding for the procurement of the crops. So we thought to meet the farmers, irrigators, and municipal agriculturists this afternoon how to market their wet palay),” he said.
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