I struggled a bit in preparing to present farming ideas and suggestions from a former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and now running for a position in the Senate, that will go forward in the development for food sufficiency of the country, without appearing as if I am campaigning for the person.
I decided to quote in full the latest post made by former DA Secretary Manny Piñol in his Facebook account as he continues to dissect and
analyze the present agricultural situation in the country, and in doing so comes up with several ideas and suggestions on how to go about making the nation food sufficient in the near future.
I admire former DA Secretary Manny Piñol for what he represents at the moment, the possibility of maximizing the potential of our agriculture industry which will benefit millions of our countrymen.
Here is his post: “Road to Food Sufficiency! Philippine Marketing System Is Exploitative, Manipulative Basic food commodities like rice, fish, chicken, pork and vegetables go through layers and layers of village traders, middlemen and dicers from the farm gate before ending up in the kitchen of Filipino families.
Ito ang dahilan kung bakit ang Carrots na binibili lamang sa magsasaka sa Cordillera ng P20 ang kilo ay umaabot sa P300 sa palengke sa Metro Manila kung may bagyo. This is also the reason why the broiler chicken bought at farm gate for P90 per kilo live is sold at P180 dressed in the public market.
Or the rice of farmers bought at P12 per kilo at farm gate is sold at P40 in the market. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit mas mataas ang presyo ng local na produksyon kaysa imported at ang nasisisi ay ang mga food producers dahil hindi daw competitive. Government must step in to correct this age-old problem of an antiquated, exploitative and manipulative marketing system where goods pass through a dozen hands before reaching the market.
Ang solusyon is for government to revive the Food Terminal Incorporated to establish a Regional Consolidation, Processing, Packaging and Distribution kung saan ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda at maghahatid lang ng kanilang mga produkto at babayaran ng tamang presyo.
Identified na naman natin through the National Food Consumption Quantification Study na ginawa ng Food and Agriculture Organization at ng Department of Agriculture kung and ang basic food needs ng Pilipino.
With Cold Storage, Processing and Packaging Facilities at modernong mga refrigerated transport facilities, the goods could be kept fresh
and safe. From there, ang mga produkto mula sa mga production areas ay dadalhin sa mga FTI Outlets na itatayo sa Metro Manila at sa palibot nito, including big cities like Cebu, kung saan ang mga mamimili could buy the goods directly or the community vendors could buy their supplies.
With less hands to go through, the consumers would be paying less while the farmers and fishermen are assured of a fair price for their produce. Let us reform our marketing system para guminhawa ang buhay ng mga konsumidores at kumita ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda.”
From the viewpoint of the former secretary of agriculture there is something seriously wrong with the way our agriculture system is currently
being run and it must be corrected immediately if we are to achieve food sufficiency.
There are lots of opportunities on how to rehabilitate and improve our agriculture practices but the way forward must be the acceptance that however technological advanced the country has become it is still an agriculture based nation and must till the land to feed its people.