Press Release
March 11, 2011


In the privilege speech he delivered last Wednesday, Senator Edgardo J. Angara warned the public against the looming food crisis threatening the world--but offered agricultural modernization as a good counter-measure for the country.

Angara urged the government to allocate more funding towards the agriculture modernization plan, which needed at least Php 17 Billion addition to the normal departmental budget of both the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

"It's worrying because instead of getting additional allotments, the DA and DAR's budget hasn't been keeping up with inflation rates, and therefore has been decreasing in real terms over the years," Angara explained.

In the lengthy discussion that followed, the former DA Secretary proposed two main areas of improvement for the Agriculture industries.

First, post-harvest facilities such as flat-bed dryers for grains, core chain and cooker vans for fisheries must be acquired to reduce the loss incurred from the farm-to-market transportation.

"What we need are adequate storage facilities and transport equipment to cut the wastage--maximizing each harvest would mean a lessened need for imported grains and produce," he said.

Second, restoring almost a million hectares of unused farmland by improving the obsolete irrigation systems.

"We must also rehabilitate some 800,000 hectares of irrigation canals which have long been out of repair, to gain use of huge tracts of rice- and corn-fields scattered throughout the country," he said.

Just those two immediate priorities, said Angara, would give such a huge boost in the productivity in the Philippines' agriculture and fisheries sectors. These measures would provide the needed boost to "gradually gain self-sufficiency which is vital in the fight against poverty and hunger."

News Latest News Feed