Press Release
March 9, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the administration to take decisive actions now on food security as international food and oil prices continue to rise to precariously high levels.

"We have yet to see the current administration craft a coherent plan that will ensure the sufficiency of our food supply and the stability of food prices," Angara said in a privilege speech on Wednesday.

Agriculture has fallen to systematic neglect globally since the height of the Green Revolution some 50 years ago. The world is now feeling the consequences of underinvestment in agriculture: lower productivity and tighter food supply.

"We badly need a new Green Revolution that is more efficient and more ecologically sound," stressed Angara. This would only be realized if the government significantly increases investment in agricultural research, development and technology transfer over the long term.

He noted that our farmers lack the most basic of agricultural infrastructure, such as irrigation systems and post-harvest networks.

The combined budget of agriculture and agrarian reform for 2011 is only P66 billion. In contrast, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said that the developing world needs to allot $200 billion per year to agriculture to double food production in 40 years.

Angara said that agricultural investment must not only be increased, but must also be channeled into R&D. Technological innovations, such as remote sensing, satellite imagery and highly efficient farming and breeding practices, will dramatically increase agricultural productivity.

At the same time, agricultural R&D will boost our resilience to the impacts of climate change. Agriculture is both a cause and victim of climate change. It accounts for approximately 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions but is also one of the sectors most devastated by extreme weather events.

"The agriculture sector demands renewed attention. Neglecting it further will only heighten our food insecurity. The administration must make food sufficiency its priority," said Angara.

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