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Local farmers supplying rice to 4Ps beneficiaries

President Duterte has approved a proposal by the Department of Agriculture for local farmers to supply the rice allowance intended for beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The supply deal is worth P25 billion every year.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, in a Facebook post, said the President approved his proposed “Corporate Rice Farming System” during the Cabinet meeting Monday.

“The rice supply scheme which I presented to the President during the Cabinet meeting yesterday marks the first step in the program of the Agriculture department to establish an assured market for the Filipino rice farmers’ produce,” said Piñol.

According to the official, Filipino farmers have been at the mercy of the traders and middlemen who control the buying price of their produce.

Local farmers are forced to sell their produce at prices dictated by the traders due to absence of efficient drying and storage facilities.

“The proposal which I submitted during the Cabinet meeting originally planned to involve local government units in a rice supply arrangement where the local government units will finance the seeds and fertilizer requirements of their farmers,” said Piñol.

He added that the LGUs will then open up rice retail outlets called “Bigasan ng Masa” where the 4Ps members could withdraw their monthly rice allowances and where other poor families could also acquire their rice supply as well. (Elena L. Aben)