Corn farmers warned they will lose some P10 billion in domestic sales if the government will reduce the tariff rate on corn imports given the prevailing depressed prices of the grain.
The farmers asked the Department of Agriculture to delay the implementation of the new tariff rate on imported corn to protect the industry, or until local corn prices go up.
Corn tariff is placed at 5 percent under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, 35 percent under the Minimum Access Volume importation and 50 percent outside the MAV.
Corn prices dropped 33 percent to a range of P8 to 9 per kilogram this year, below the P13.25 per kilo support price established by the National Food Authority. Despite the lower corn prices, the price of livestock and poultry continue be expensive.
The Philippine Maize Federation denied that feed prices would go down because of lower corn prices, pulling down livestock and poultry price.
The group said the huge importation of feed wheat and corn caused the fall in local corn price to its lowest level, based on a recent study the Philippine Competition Commission.
Philmaize also attributed the fall of local corn price to the uncontrolled, unabated and uncalibrated large arrivals of feed wheat and imported corn during the wet season harvest.
“This displaced local corn harvest from getting into warehouses and silos of livestock and feed mill sector,” the group said.
A House resolution filed by Congressman Rufus Rodriguez noted that the abundance of corn production did not increase the income of farmers.