Yes, the Filipino farmer can: Pangilinan
Sen. Francis Pangilinan said he is confident that Filipino farmers can supply the requirements of local and multinational food giants.
Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate agriculture and food committee, said during the hearing on the Farmers and Fisherfolk Entrepreneurship and Development Act of 2016, or Sagip Saka, that the farmers only need empowerment from the private sector and self-confidence.
“Madalas na unang tanong ng ating mga magsasaka ay hindi tungkol sa pautang, kundi ay kung kaya ba nilang mapunan ang demand kung sakaling magkakaroon sila ng partnership kasama ng private sector,” Pangilinan said.
“Pero maraming nagpapatunay na kaya nila,” he added.
The Sagip Saka bill seeks to uplift the lives and increase the income of farmers and fisherfolk through agricultural enterprise and development.
Gisella Tiongson told the Senate how the Jollibee Foundation helped farmers in Nueva Ecija reach their full potential by sourcing 20 percent of Jollibee’s vegetable requirements from the farmers groups.
For Nestle, Ruth Novales said her company is trying to change the mindset of the coffee farmers in Bukidnon. The two-year partnership led to the tripling of the yield and income of the farmers.
“We want them to think as ‘agripreneurs’. We hope to make agriculture sexy again. Because unlike what is generally believed, there is money in farming,” she said.