SANTIAGO CITY: The National Food Authority (NFA) has expressed alarm over the rampant land conversion in the province, adding that this will have an impact on food supply and hinder food self-sufficiency.
NFA Manager Leslie Martinez of Isabela province said the conversion of agricultural lands into residential, commercial, industrial and other uses would directly impact food and environmental security in the province.
Martinez said the land conversion is expected to put pressure on the province’s rice production.
“We have observed that the province’s agricultural areas, including prime rice lands, have been shrinking at an alarming pace,” he said.
“This is why we are urging local municipal governments to study thoroughly their land use plans and work on limiting agricultural land conversions to attain food self-sufficiency target in the province,” Martinez said.
Meanwhile, IBON Foundation Inc., an independent development institution which provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues, claims that there will be more lands converted into non-agricultural ventures than rice lands if land conversion is not averted.
In its published report, IBON said the Philippine government should address obstacles to attaining food self-sufficiency such as land conversion and land deals.