FARMERS warned that nationwide hunger and food insecurity will worsen as a result of non-stop oil price hikes that keep pushing the prices of food and services upward.

"When prices soar, it is always the poorest who pay the dearest. Now, even farmers cannot afford to buy food due to lacking income. More Filipinos will go hungry," said Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chairperson Danilo Ramos.

The KMP chair said farmers' income is not enough to cover the increasing cost of living and cost of farming.

"Dahil sa napakamahal na presyo ng abono at langis, marami ang hindi na makapagtanim. May epekto ito sa seguridad sa pagkain ng bansa," he added.

(Because of the high prices of fertilizer and fuel, many have not been able to plant. This has an effect on the country’s food security.)

Ramos said the effects of oil price hike are instantly felt by farmers who bear the entire cost of farming and food production.

"Fertilizer prices keep rising to extreme levels. Gasoline and diesel for farm machinery are just too costly. Farmers who cannot afford the costs will either be buried in debt or be forced to stop farming altogether," the farmer group leader said.

The KMP demands P15,000 production subsidy and P10,000 cash aid for farmers.

Ramos said the Plant, Plant, Plant 2 program of the Department of Agriculture is just an extension of the government's pandemic food security program that focuses on importation rather than strengthening domestic food production and aiding food producers.

"It is preposterous that P20 billion will be spent to import fertilizer," the KMP leader said.