ERJ staff report (BC)
North Cotabato, Philippines – Experts have blamed the absence of modern processing supply problems, not “manipulative cartels,” for rubber price fluctuations in North Cotabato, reports John Unson for Philstar.com.
Provincial governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, citing studies initiated by researchers, is said to have assured farmers during a provincial rubber forum on 19 August that mounting perceptions that unscrupulous cartels have been manipulating prices of raw and processed latex are “virtually unfounded”.
Mendoza said while thousands of farmers have already shifted to propagation of rubber trees as a more profitable agricultural venture, the province still produces a limited volume of processed rubber.
“Many of our farmers have just shifted to rubber farming. We need to wait for a little more time patiently. There is also this `law of supply and demand’ that also affects the prices of rubber products,” Mendoza is quoted as saying.
Bonifacio Tan, CEO of Farma Rubber Products, which buys rubber from local farmers, said poor material quality is a contributor to price instability.
Traders have long been asserting that local rubber producers also do not have any common quality standard for their products, said the report.
Mendoza said her office will ask the Philippines departments of trade & industry and agriculture to embark on more capacity-building intervention programmes to maximise the productivity of rubber farmers in North Cotabato.
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Full report from Philstar
ERJ report of 19 August