February 26, 2024

Bicol Express News

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OPINION: What is to be done?


By Jose Cortez

Three things:

One. More than eleven million workers are unemployed . Almost 80% of the population perceive themselves to be hungry. Large-scale agriculture and nationalist industrialization are the keys.

How shall we do it? What kind of industries should we put up? How should we modernize our agriculture to ensure food security, where no one goes to bed hungry.

Cooperative farming , consolidating disparate farms into one well managed  cooperative that could develop millions of hectares for food production, ensure good seeds, provide financing, secure modern agricultural equipment, set up grains silos and rice mills, and  utilize wind  and sun for energy and irrigation needs.. equally profit from the project is one solution.

Government can play the integrating role for the various elements necessary for production.from agriculture alone, industries can be established.

Two. Buy Filipino farm products, not from middlemen, but directly from the producers.

Markets are people. If we bought our  farmers’products, we can be assured of wealth going to the farmers instead of importers and their retailers.

Let’s patronize our own farmers, not foreign farmers.

Willy Arcilla, a top notch marketing man who spent twenty years working and  learning in China and Vietnam, has taken the idea further. He  proposed that we sell for the poor, what we buy direct from the farmers and producers, not  for the rich who could choose where  and what to buy.

Three. Securitize the produce.

This means all financial institutions, private ,specially government financial institutions, will not only  provide production financing, but also be the buyers of the product from the cooperative at prices computed to give each of the farmers the true value of their product plus profit in the form of dividends and other benefits from the cooperative.

Finally, let’s start thinking of  food for the millions of hungry Filipinos.

We cannot all be recipients of remittances from OFWs, or lotto winners, or cockfighting aficionados, or bif landowners.

We Know enough to know we can lift ourselves from poverty if we work on it.