Manila: The Philippines said it will provide 12.7 billion pesos ($224 million) in financial assistance to about 2.3 million rice farmers to help them cope with El Nino and higher production costs.
Rice farmers tilling below two hectares of land will receive 5,000 pesos each, President Ferdinand Marcos’s communications office said in a statement. The fund will be sourced from the excess tariff collection from rice imports in 2022, it said.
Separately, another 700 million pesos, also from rice tariffs, have been allocated for distribution to 78,000 farmers who are under the social welfare department’s cash subsidy program, Marcos’s office said.
Sharply higher rice prices have fanned inflation in the Philippines in August, prompting Marcos to cap prices of the staple grain and provide cash aid to rice retailers and small store owners affected by the cap. Rice makes up around 9 per cent of the Southeast Asian nation’s consumer basket.