Apparently the general public has several misconceptions about the current state of agriculture. In simple terms, we haven’t achieved food security because of our neglect of adoption of modern techniques and the absence of population control measures. We don’t produce enough food for domestic consumption.
Each subsector in agriculture is also beset with problems. In fishing for example, we don’t have a modern fishing fleet like Taiwan and China. We rely on makeshift bancas that are handmade and powered by Japanese surplus diesel truck engines. We don’t have modern poultry, piggeries and dairy production facilities. We also lack agricultural manufacturing capacity. Then there is the infrastructure deficits in terms of post-harvest and distribution facilities plus transportation which makes it cheaper to import than to ship from Mindanao to Manila.
Our small consulting group just finished a study on the coconut industry. While we continue to be the second top exporter of coconut-based products, we are far behind in productivity. The causes of this are non-adoption of modern techniques, lack of government support for coconut farmers, infrastructure deficit and the absence of a value chain which will maximize profits for farmers and processors alike. Aside from what’s been mentioned, there are also corruption and the bureaucracy which are both stumbling blocks to the successful implementation of any strategy to be adopted by the government.
|SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SOCIAL COMMENTARY!|
Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
This is why I believe that charter change is in order. The local government units (LGUs) have to be involved in the modernization and development of agriculture in order to achieve food security. It will also increase our exports which then translates to additional foreign exchange earnings for the country. We also need consistency in policy and leadership. This is why a federal parliamentary system would work best because it would make regional and local officials accountable to their constituents. No more passing the blame to the national government.
Lastly, there’s the issue of power cost. Nuclear energy is the cheapest and the cleanest. We should put up SMRs throughout the country to lower our power costs. In reality, six years is not enough time to solve our problem which needs both a medium and long-term solution. We can’t afford to continue with current system of changing governments every six years. If we don’t go for structural reforms, we will end up as the sick man of Asia again and the last in ASEAN.
Cook wide reader political crackpot music afficionado old soul out-of-the box thinker aspiring writer tech geek gearhead