Solon seeks corporate farming promotionamid food crisis involving rice import fiasco
The Chairman of the House Committee on Food Security is seeking the promotionof corporate farming as one of the ways to boost the agricultural sector, which is currentlyfacing a food crisis involving the rice importation fiasco.Rep. Agapito Guanlao (Party-list, BUTIL) said the food crisis has brought to focusthe need to review the government policy on food security and the need to seek creativemeans to reinvigorate the agricultural sector.Guanlao said the unique advantage of corporate farming is its ability to integrate theentire process of food production and it offers more efficient and effective management of the farm itself and the entire chain of agriculture-related business, including seed supply,agrochemicals, food processing, machinery, storage, transport, distribution, marketing,advertising, and retail sales.“This would have significant impact in ensuring a more stable rice and corn supply,and making rice and corn prices more predictable,” Guanlao said.Any measure seeking to promote corporate farming must address the national needsand aspirations for national sovereignty and agrarian justice to provide security to thelarger masses of poor Filipinos according to Guanlao.“The BUTIL Farmers Party has long upheld the primary of farmers’ security assynonymous to food security. The farmers and farm-workers must be partners in anycorporate farming endeavor and not merely spectators or indentured laborers. Societyshould also not discount the probability that the farmers themselves, through their agricultural cooperatives, may acquire the necessary capitalization and landholdingrequired by a vertically-integrated corporate farming scheme, a corporative farming designthat a pro-farmer legislation should be open to,” he said.Guanlao said his proposal for a corporate farming initiative reflects this view, andthus a provision upholding the right of agrarian reform communities are reflected and prioritized, and the necessity for an alternative corporative farming scheme. Likewise,compliance with existing laws especially on Organic Farming and the revised Agri-AgraLaw is earnestly pursued and proposed according to him.In House Bill 467, which revived House Bill 3182 filed during the 15
Congress,Guanlao proposed that participation to the Corporate Farming Program should be on avoluntary basis.
NR # 3234SEPT. 22, 2013