PH must strive for food sufficiency to avoid food riots
As one administration after another yielded to the easy way out and opted to importing the country’s food requirements, the Duterte administration is now shifting the policy and will work towards achieving food sufficiency.
“There is now a paradigm shift in many of the DA [Department of Agriculture’s] programs and priorities. The DA is now adopting a policy that the country must strive hard to achieve food sufficiency, especially for our basic and staple food commodities like rice, white corn, meat, poultry, fish, and marine products,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said in a statement.
“El Niño, La Niña and climate change are realities this country must face and challenges that we all must be prepared for. Or else, we face the grim scenario of food riots in this country,” Piñol said.
He said the tragic rally in Kidapawan earlier this year that led to the death of some farmers “provides us with a graphic picture of the dire consequences that this country faces if it fails to prepare for natural calamities and climactic changes.”
While PAGASA had issued warnings on El Niño two years even before it happened, Piñol said the DA failed to map out a strategy to ensure sufficient food for farmers when they would not be able to harvest because of water scarcity.
“It has now become a must that this country has to achieve sufficiency in rice and other basic food commodities. It is no longer just a choice,” Piñol said.