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About 12 million Filipinos work in the agricultural sector. If the country can significantly increase its exports and imports of agricultural goods, agricultural provinces would generate much greater revenue, provide more employment opportunities, and lessen poverty in rural areas. This is especially important for Mindanao, the country's breadbasket that has great underdeveloped potential for agricultural exports.


The Philippine agricultural sector comprised 19% of GDP in 2009 and employed 34% of the labor force. Yet agricultural products made up only 8.3% of total Philippine commodity exports and Philippine agricultural exports were the smallest of the ASEAN-5. [ Read This Chapter ]


Philippine agriculture needs to explore fully the immense new market opportunities that AFTA and other new FTAs present for both traditional and new agricultural exports. The farming sector should be made more aware of these enhanced export opportunities.... [ Read This Chapter ]

[OPINION] ‘Unli rice’ and rice trade

20 June, 2017 at 10:24

Poor Sen. Cynthia Villar. She was well meaning, I’m sure, when she made that controversial remark last week about prohibiting unlimited rice servings in restaurants.

[OPINION] Impressive, sana!

25 April, 2017 at 09:30

The Infrastructure presentation last week was impressive. The use of social media to spread the word around was impressive as well.

[OPINION] Reboot

21 April, 2017 at 14:50

When I was first introduced to the personal computer decades ago, there were times when the operating system did not work properly.

[OPINION] Our stubborn rice policy

19 April, 2017 at 17:00

I have written so much over the years, including in this column, about our deeply flawed policies on rice. It has been tiring and exasperating.

Ditch rice policy, gov’t urged

17 April, 2017 at 12:00

The government’s policy on rice continues to be stuck on self-sufficiency and a conflicted practice on importation despite recommendations from local economic experts from the government, private sector and the academe as well as international

The economic revolution the Philippines really needs

21 February, 2017 at 10:06

For political, social, moral, and geo-political reasons, the revolution that the Philippines really needs is a productivity revolution in agriculture.

Tariff scheme for rice high on agenda...

28 December, 2016 at 13:00

The Philippines is rushing to set a tariff scheme for rice after the lapse of the quantitative restriction (QR) regime.

NIA to irrigate all available PHL farmlands

20 December, 2016 at 17:00

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is keen on providing irrigation to all arable lands in the country under the Duterte administration, according to its new chief.


20 December, 2016 at 15:00

Last Saturday, hundreds of farmers working with Marsman Estate Plantation Inc. (MEPI) happily celebrated the company’s foundation day. Over 1,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries entered into agribusiness venture agreements (AVAs) with the company.

DTI unveils new industrial strategy

29 November, 2016 at 10:57

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has unveiled a new industrial strategy that would revive the country’s manufacturing sector and accelerate further its growth in the coming years.

Business Sector Calls for a Policy Framework...

13 October, 2016 at 16:57

A joint group of business leaders and economists today called on government to carefully review the proposal of the Department of Agrarian Reform to prohibit the conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural purposes…

Moratorium on land conversion to derail economy...

7 October, 2016 at 13:35

Various local and foreign business groups yesterday bonded together to reject the proposed two-year moratorium on land conversion into non-agricultural purposes…

Free Land Distribution and Nationalization of 19...

27 September, 2016 at 10:13

Communist negotiators are pushing for free land distribution and public ownership of industries as they prepare to sit down with the government for the crucial phase of the peace talks in Norway in two weeks.

Palace abandons rice program, but not Piñol

5 September, 2016 at 09:27

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will now have to look for other funding sources for its rice self-sufficiency dream, after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) deleted the P18-billion supposed allocation for the program.

Consensus reached over NFA reform

31 August, 2016 at 11:00

A plan to strip the National Food Authority (NFA) of the power to buy and sell rice has now taken a concrete shape, with economic managers of the Duterte administration arriving at a consensus that the grains agency must stay as a regulator.

NEDA eyes policy change to allow commercial...

26 August, 2016 at 11:15

Policy reforms would be implemented in land administration to pave the way for large scale commercial farming which is deemed productive and profitable for farmers, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said yesterday.

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