Retail prices of local rice are seen to drop to at least P36 per kilogram before the end of October, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Thursday, Oct. 5.

“In retail, the price will be P36 to P38 before the end of the month. It’s because it’s harvest season and we have many produce,” DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said in an interview on the sidelines of the opening of AgriLink, FoodLink & AquaLink 2023 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Panganiban added that they are still mulling over recommendations for a suggested retail price on rice, in relation to reports that the price of imported rice in the market is at P60 per kilo.

“We have none yet (recommendation), we’re still conducting study on that,” he said.

Asked if this price is too high, Panganiban said this is “very expensive” as it should only be between “P38 to P40″.

“We don’t know yet, the teams are visiting markets to monitor the prices,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. supported the use of modern technology to improve the agricultural sector.

“The adoption of modern farming practices and the development of cutting-edge technologies will be our tools to promote sustainable and efficient farming processes,” the President said in his message for the event read by Panganiban.

“Through innovation, we will not only preserve but also add greater value to our agricultural products, improving the livelihood of our farmers and enhancing our competitiveness in this globalized world,” he added.

He also pledged the government’s continued support to the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

“As I end, you can rest assured that the government will continue to stand firmly behind our farmers and fisherfolk, as well as small and medium-scale agri-businesses. Our ongoing efforts-from investing in infrastructure and improving roads to enhancing irrigation systems and fostering technology development—are all geared towards improving the efficiency and value of our crops and agricultural products,” the Chief Executive said.

“So, it is my hope that you will support me and the rest of the government as we strive to build a more modern, efficient, and sustainable agri-business sector,” he added.

The AgriLink, FoodLink & AquaLink 2023 carries the theme “Plant Health and Value Adding: Key to Competitiveness.”PNA