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PH needs P93-B investment on post-harvest facilities to address rice, corn wastage, lower prices, says DA chief

MANILA -- The government will need P93 billion to build post-harvest facilities in the next three years to save PhP10.7 billion a year rice and corn wastage, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said Tuesday.

“Because we’re losing about 12.7 to 15 percent of our rice production due to lack of post-harvest facility. So, sa rice and corn pa lang na post-harvest, P93 billion na eh. Sa cold storage, my budget this year is only P1 billion so ipo-focus ko lahat iyon sa apat na cold storage to address that vegetable issue – but that can only cover part of Luzon,” Laurel said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

“So, if we try to solve the problem as soon as possible, assuming 2025… I need additional P5 billion ‘no to address the vegetable cold storage issue of the whole nation. How to get the money… I’m still new at the government so I’m still trying to figure that out also,” he said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led a sectoral meeting at the Palace, where the agriculture department presented its three-year plan – “Para sa Masaganang Bagong Pilipinas.”

The plan, under the Masagana Agri-Food Infrastructure Modernization (MAFIM) program of the National Food Authority, will focus on expanding agri-fishery areas for increased production, modernizing agri and fishery production system and developing and improving post-harvest systems and infrastructure.

Laurel said that under the three-year plan, the DA will invest heavily on post-harvest facilities to have more product recovery, and to lower the cost of rice and corn.

Laurel said a post-harvest facility will soon rise in Dingras, Ilocos Norte which has a 120 MT capacity. He said the DA is also eyeing to build similar facilities in Concepcion, Tarlac; Dumangas, Iloilo and Musuan Maramag, Bukidnon.

Under projects being laid out under the MAFIM program include building 196 dryers, 48 silos, 221 warehouses, 57 rice mills, 24 corn mills and 638 handling equipment all over the country.

Laurel pointed out the agency has a lot of infrastructure projects to be built like ports, agri-industrial ports, and cold storage facilities to address the vegetable issues that come from time-to-time from over production.

“We also have a very big move on the logistics – 30 percent of our produce especially of vegetables is gone because of wastage, because of the poor logistics system in our food supply chain,” Laurel said adding, “if we can lessen or hopefully almost eliminate iyong losses na iyon, that will be equivalent to at least 10 to 15 percent less cost sa ating mga vegetables and high-value crops like fruits.”

In addition, Laurel said he intends to reorganize DA to make it less regulatory but still effective and developmental in regulations and food safety.

The country has to produce more of everything to address the needs of the ever-increasing population, and that’s basically the goal of the three-year plan, he added. (PND)

About the Author

Andrea Bancud


Information II from the Creative Production Services Division of PIA Central Office who also writes scripts for IEC materials such as AVP, TV Commercial, Radio Commercial and print materials. 

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