DA cites benefits to farmers, and food security for the country

By Marvyn N. Benaning
Published online on the April 11, 2007 issue of the Manila Bulletin

Food sufficiency and security, as well as the welfare of agrarian reform beneficiaries and other small farm stakeholders, were the primary objectives of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in forging 19 agribusiness agreements with China.

The agreements were signed by Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano made this clarification in reaction to allegations made by leaders of the Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) who questioned the wisdom of the deals inked with Chinese corporations.

Serrano’s statement confirms the fear of agrarian reform beneficiaries that their land will be offered to the Chinese investors who are themselves worried about the possibility that China would be a net importer of food by 2015.

The DA claimed that the millions of hectares of land to be managed and controlled by Chinese managers will come from agrarian reform areas even as the department has not asked any single beneficiary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) if he will consent to the deal.

Moreover, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) reportedly committed 1.24 million hectares and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) vowed to produce 4 million hectares, roughly the total rice production area of the entire country.

All the DA can say is that when it entered into these agreements, it has ensured that “the rules and mechanisms that will safeguard our farmers and our sovereign interests are in place and protected by existing Philippine laws and regulations.”

“The draft implementing guidelines on these agreements would state that the food security and sufficiency of the country shall be the utmost priority at all times,” Serrano said. “This implies that the DA has the authority to intervene in the trade of the produce of the ventures to meet the food security needs of the country.”

A Convergence Secretariat, consisting of representatives from the DA, the Departments of Agrarian Reform (DA) and of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are in the process of completing the implementing guidelines that will serve as the overall guidelines for all agribusiness investments in the Philippines.


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

  • FairTrade in pictures

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Founded in 2001, the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) of the Philippines is a broad multisectoral coalition of formal and informal labor, industry, agriculture, NGOs and youth pushing for trade and economic reforms.
  • FairTrade seeks to promote a job-full and progressive Philippine economy through: (1) the promotion of fair trade rules and active agro-industrial policies based on the existing development needs of the nation, (2) the development of a positive agro-industrial culture to foster innovation, hard work and solidarity between and among the productive sectors of Philippine society, and (3) the transformation of an economy debased and stunted by colonial mentality, unequal trade and neo-liberal dogma into a modern, sustainable and broad-based.
  • Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade)
    3/f Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) Headquarters
    #56 Mo. Ignacia cor. Dr. Lascano, Quezon City, The Philippines
    (+632) 372 49 91 to 92 local 30
    (+632) 372 39 24

    FairTradeWeb is powered by Wordpress, MediaMax, MediaFire, Yahoo!, FeedBurner and Flickr.

  • Subscribe in Bloglines

%d bloggers like this: