The Farmers plight: The Small Scale Farmers Meeting at Makilala North Cotabato
1. After spending billions of pesos in agricultural programs and research, the recommendations given by technocrats and agriculture experts, World Bank, United Nations and the like - the farmers cannot produce enough rice, corn, meat, fish, chicken to feed the Filipinos; farmers and fishermen remain to be the poorest among the Filipinos. Why?
2. Why agriculture's contribution to GDP has continually slid down from 20-30% in the past decades to only 11.2% in 2015?
3. Why our neighbors in ASEAN beat us black and blue in agricultural productivity in rice and all crops (except pineapple and bananas produced by multinational corporations) when we are the world's experts in rice and many other crops?
4. Why do we need to import P7 billion of coffee beans annually from Vietnam and P3 billion of cocoa beans from Ivory Coast per year when we have the best climate and soil for these crops?
5. Why is Philippine Coconut Agency (PCA) encouraging oil palm cultivation in the country when it is bad for bio-diversity and environment; when it competes directly with our coconut industry (which PCA is supposed to grow), which give only 1/2 of income compared to an integrated coconut farm; When Indonesia and Malaysia are controlling its expansion?