November 25, 2010
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today lamented the country’s negative growth rate in the agricultural sector (-2.62%) from January to September 2010, this despite the 6.5% growth in the economy in general. The DA said the negative growth was due to the dry spell. The data came from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.
“What’s the point of the economic growth if we are unable to ensure food security? This data is a clear indication that the sector is being taken for granted and neglected. We need to do more in terms of preparedness and having buffer systems in place so that our farmers and their livelihoods are protected.”
Pangilinan is the chair of the senate’s committee on agriculture and food. He is working closely with DA secretary Proceso Alcala in coming up with a roadmap for the country’s agricultural sector. According to DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics’ website, the crops’ subsector also recorded a 7.24 percent decline from its level last year.
“We need to develop long-term, sustainable measures to address usual threats faced by our farmers. We should strengthen crop protection measures for our farmers as they seem to be always on the losing end when faced with natural disasters. We owe it to our farmers to make their lives better as they have been breaking their backs for decades just to put food in our table.”
“Napapanahon na para pagtuunan ng pansin ang ating sektor ng agrikultura,” Pangilinan adds. “Turing natin sa sarili e isang agricultural country, pero tila walang nag-aalaga sa kapakanan ng ating mga magsasaka at sa kanilang hanapbuhay. Ang roadmap na hinahanda naming ay simple lang ang hangarin: Paunlarin ang kabuhayan ng ating mga magsasaka. Kapag nagawa natin ito, matutugunan ang problema ng kahirapan sa kanayunan at uunlad ang ating sektor ng agrikultura. Pag umunlad ang sektor na ito, aangat ang estado ng ating bayan. Kaya nating magawa ang lahat ng ito, pero kinakailangan nating kumilos ngayon na.”