Increased productive capacity of agriculture should follow farmers’ access to market, said Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan on Monday as he welcomes the commitment of five supermarket chains to purchase their supply of onion and garlic directly from farmers, as reported by Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol.
“Napapanahon ang naging commitment ng mga supermarket na direktang bumili sa ating mga magsasaka. Ito ang nais nating maging norm dahil makakatulong ito sa pagdagdag ng kanilang mga kita, at makakapag-ahon sa marami mula sa kahirapan (The commitment of the supermarkets to buy from our farmers is timely. We would like this to be the norm because our farmers’ income would increase and their lives would be lifted from poverty), said Pangilinan.
“Ang kailangan naman ngayon ay masigurong mayroong kapasidad ang ating mga farmers na matugunan ang magiging demand (Now we need to ensure that our farmers have the capacity to meet that demand),” said the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.
SM, Rustan’s, Shopwise, and SaveMore made the commitment through the initiative of Presidential Adviser on Economic Enterprise and GoNegosyo head Joey Concepcion, while Secretary Pinol secured the 20 strong supermarkets of NCCC Mall in Mindanao.
“Mahalaga ang magiging papel ng private sector upang mapaunlad ang agrikultura sa bansa. Ngunit kasabay ng pagtaas ng demand ay tumataas din ang pangangailangan ng ating mga magsasaka para sa mga storage and transport facilities. Dapat makasabay ang suporta para sa kanila (The role of the private sector in improving agriculture in the country is important. The increase in the demand would be followed by an increase in our farmers’ need for storage and transport facilities. The support for them should be able to catch up),” Pangilinan said.
This initiative follows the pattern of Pangilinan’s Sagip Saka bill which seeks to provide tax incentives to the private sector that buy agricultural produce directly from accredited farmers and fishers’ enterprises. The bill also mandates national and local government agencies to do the same.