Press Release
February 4, 2016


Independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe is urging businesses to support the country's impoverished agricultural sector by partnering with agricultural cooperatives through corporate farming.

Poe said these partnerships will ensure a ready market for the products of agricultural communities and provide greater income for farmers.

"Small farmers should be given the opportunity to directly sell their products to institutional markets that are willing to buy their produce at a reasonable price. This will provide a stable source of income for our farmers as well," Poe stressed.

"With the limited investments that can be shouldered by the public sector, private sector intervention is valuable to achieve a more efficient agriculture sector," she said.

The senator is the author of Senate Bill No. 2089, which seeks to develop a suitable corporate farming program that will boost public-private partnerships to enhance productivity in the agriculture sector.

Businesses may allow farmers to till the company's existing landholdings, enter into a contractual arrangement with farmers to provide land and input, lease or purchase land for production, or partner with farms who are already employing corporative farming schemes.

At a roundtable discussion with newspaper editors, Poe cited an example of a successful model of corporate farming, where a company directly sources its produce from farmers, while also providing them with the technology for a more efficient yield.

The presidential frontrunner underscored the need for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry to work together to forge partnerships between small-scale farmer organizations and commercial businesses in the country.

Agricultural workers, who make up 70 percent of the country's labor force, are also among the poorest. In 2012, the highest poverty incidence was among fishermen and farmers, at 39.2 percent and 38.3 percent, respectively, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

According to the World Bank, the agriculture sector's share to the Philippine economy in 2014 only stood at 11.3 percent, way behind the industry sector at 31.4 percent and the services sector at 57.3 percent. The agriculture sector has posted less than one percent growth in the last few years.

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