‘Income from planting rice falls to 5-year low’


Filipino rice farmers saw their income decline to a 5-year low in 2020 as higher labor costs reversed a downward trend in average production cost, latest government data showed.

In its latest report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the net profit-cost ratio of palay production, which refers to the farmers’ net income for every peso spent, declined to 0.46 in 2020 from 0.48 recorded in 2019.

Historical PSA data showed that this is the lowest net profit-cost ratio since 2016, when it reached 0.58.

“Net profit cost-ratio ranged from 0.40 during the wet season cropping to 0.52 during the dry season cropping,” the PSA said in its report on the updated palay and corn production costs released recently.

The PSA said the average cost of producing palay rose to a 6-year high of P47,089 while gross returns on a per hectare basis declined to a 4-year low of P68,519.

The PSA said the highest average cost of producing palay was recorded in Ilocos Region at P64,776 per hectare while the lowest was recorded in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) where farmers spent P32,271.

“Central Luzon registered the highest average gross returns at P84,506 per hectare. BARMM registered the lowest average gross returns at P49,164 per hectare,” the PSA added.

Historical PSA data showed that the net returns last year declined to a 5-year low at P21,430 per hectare.

“Northern Mindanao registered the highest average net returns among regions at P29,010 per hectare. Central Visayas registered the least net returns at P2,148 per hectare,” the PSA said.

Historical PSA data showed that labor costs last year surged to a record. Hired labor cash costs reached P10,241 per hectare while hired labor paid in kind reached P838 per hectare.

Combined imputed labor costs per hectare (operator labor, family labor, exchange labor) totaled P6,780.

PSA data indicated that the average palay production cost last year rose to P11.52 per kilogram from P11.45 per kg recorded in 2019.

“During the wet season cropping, it was higher at P11.53 [per kg] while during the dry season cropping, it was at P11.43 [per kg],” the PSA said.

The report also showed a downward trend in the average farm-gate price of palay as it fell to P16.76 per kilogram, the lowest in 7 years or since 2014, when the average quotation reached P20.07 per kg.

“During the dry season cropping, farm-gate price was higher at P17.37 per kilogram compared with the wet season cropping at P16.14 per kilogram,” it added.

However, the PSA reported that the average palay yield per hectare rose for the third consecutive year at 4.089 metric ton per hectare, the highest on record.

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