Duterte wants to boost food production for local consumption
President Rodrigo Duterte wants to improve the country’s food production for local consumption, complaining anew how some lands are allotted for various crops that are only meant for export.
In an interview with PTV4, he said that instead of using lands for rice planting, land owners prefer to plant “cash crops” for export, citing huge banana plantations in Davao.
“Wala na tayong nagtatanim ng (palay)— So kailangan natin ang bigas ng Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, ‘yan. Diyan tayo nag-i-import — Kasi ‘yung mga lupa natin hindi na food crop, cash crop na,” Duterte said.
“So it’s about time that we re-direct also that we have to leave enough space for rice planting, so that we can have at least about one-third or two-third na hindi talaga mawala ang bigas sa ating bayan,” he added.
Duterte then tasked Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to look into this.
“It behooves upon Piñol but he’s sick right now. Secretary Piñol sana gumaling ka na at try to work hard again to inject rational (changes in the agriculture sector),” Duterte further said.