Food Security in the Philippines

President Benigno S. Aquino III stressed that the Philippines under his helm is employing a totally different orientation in all fields especially on food security which, he said, is part of the “transformative character of our administration.”

The Chief Executive made this statement in response to a question fielded to him by the moderator at the panel discussion on commodity security for economic growth. How has he addressed food security and how far has his government gone in that path? The panel discussion was held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel here on Friday.

“In terms of food security, I’m very pleased to note that our agricultural minister has already given us a guarantee, number one, that there is no need for further importation of rice,” the President said.

“With the next harvest which is due January, we will have an excess over that which is mandated as strategic reserve in terms of rice. And what was done was not radical changes but rather just doing what was necessary,” he stressed.

He cited as examples the government’s move in providing certified or genuine seeds, offering basic inputs that would help upland farmers in their marketing campaign and in not making it profitable to import. The concern was to control dependence on imported rice and in the process guarantee food production and security.

According to the President, all these basic steps have led to the “three quarters of bumper harvest that gives us that measure over and above that which is necessary for the first quarter of 2012.”

The President also described as “truly encouraging” that there are neighboring countries that have signified so much interest in participating in the country’s agricultural sector.

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