THE government’s “import-oriented policy” on agricultural products and neglect of the agriculture sector are the reasons why the prices of farm products remain high, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday.
Marcos, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said the heavy dependence of government on imported agricultural goods pushed up the prices of agricultural products in the country.
“Sa nakaraang ilang taon ay walang ginawa para tulungan ang agrikultura at import na lang tayo nang import kaya naman napakamahal ng bilihin sa palengke, (for many years the government did nothing to help improve the agriculture sector and relied heavily on importation that is why farm products in our markets are expensive),” he said.
For the past five years, the Aquino government failed to introduce programs that would have enabled the Philippines to achieve rice self-sufficiency.
From being an exporter of rice at one time, the country has become one of the biggest importers of rice in the world.
Marcos called on the government to implement programs that will boost agricultural production and bring down prices of farm produce.
“One way of doing this is through a system where the participation of the middlemen in trading farm outlets is minimized or regulated, if not totally stopped,” he explained
The senator, who is running for vice president in next year’s polls, earlier said the government neglect on the agriculture sector also put the country’s food security at risk.
He said that if he wins next year, he will help the government in crafting a good policy for the agriculture sector since it serves as the foundation of the economy and crucial in ensuring food security.