Farmer’s group denounce forecasts income loss for farmers over decreased prices of palay

Sep. 22, 2008

Militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – southern Mindanao warns farmers about the looming decreased buying price of palay as rice stocks of the National Food Authority (NFA) reportedly rise due to an importation of 400,000 MT in the last part of the year.

This phenomenon will reportedly result to billions of income lost for local farmers, and millions of hungry mouths.

If the prices of palay will further go down, amidst the heavy inflation, farmers are going to experience the more pestilence on their economic life in the coming months. And we have no one to blame but this government which has become addicted to rice importation rather than supporting its local farmers, Tony Salubre, acting spokesperson of the KMP-SMR decried.

Salubre stated that with the trend of decreasing palay costs, only the usurers, land owners, big traders and the cartels are ensured of good income while local farmers are deprived not only of the capacity to purchase, reinvest in farming but also to eat and live.

Salubre also lashed at President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s target of rice self sufficiency by 2013, saying this is just another daydream fed by Mrs. Arroyo to the outraged public.

With this news at hand coming directly from the NFA, Mrs. Arroyo has just proven how good she is at making lies and false promises. Where again is her promise of economic growth when this government has shown no strength in boosting its own economy, especially the agricultural sector? Salubre said.

Salubre said the real and only solution to uplifting the plight of farmers is to stop rice importation, stop land and crop conversion, disband rice cartels and usury, and implement genuine land reform.

KMP – SMR calls on farmers and the people to support the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill or House Bill 3059 which will distribute free land to farmers, liberate farmers from amortization rates, remove increase government subsidy on farm implements and technology among others.

The bill is now being deliberated in the lower house as a more pro-people, pro-farmer alternative to the highly-criticized Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

For reference:

Tony Salubre: 0910-236-0937

Acting spokesperson, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

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