Pinoy farmers urged to go industrial farming
In order for the Philippines to acquire a better position in the ASEAN integration, Filipino farmers should go on industrial farming for better yield and production, said Jonathan Suy, president of Ana’s Breeders Farm Inc.
Suy told Sun.Star Davao local farmers should do away with traditional agriculture in which inputs per unit land are lower.
But there are prevailing problems the government should first address before farmers can turn to industrial farming. One is the five-hectare land ownership policy and the lack of post-harvest facilities.
“They (farmers) can’t go on industrial farming because their agricultural lands are limited, no one will invest, they cannot invest modernization like heavy tractors because they only have five hectares (to use) that is why the government must invest in industrial,” Suy said.
When venturing on industrial farming, farmers would need 100,000 to 200,000 hectares of land to cultivate.
“We don’t have enough post–harvest facilities, because we don’t have enough of that we will encounter lot of problems like toxin problems, it will require more cost and will result to a less quality crops such as corn,” he added.
Industrial farming or intensive agriculture is characterized by a “low fallow ratio and higher use of inputs such as capital and labor per unit land area.”
Suy said crop production can potentially increase by 30 to 35 percent with industrial farming. Farmers would also be more encouraged to grow more crops as turn-around cycle of investment is faster with proper post-harvest facilities.
In response, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) executive director Janet M. Lopoz said the government is already exploring new models that can be adopted to tackle problems on small holdings.
Lopez said the government is already on the look out for new agricultural trends and models that can be adopted in the Philippines. (By: Ched Romulo)