written by Danilo P. Cruz
AT NO TIME in the history of this nation has any administration really focused on agriculture.
While it is true that programs in the agricultural sector have been a major component of the succession of medium-term Philippine development plans, agriculture has always been only one of the sectors that needed to be given attention.
The sector had to compete for resources. It had to compete to be heard. Often, it failed to receive the preeminence due it. Perhaps, the single most eloquent proof that the sector has not been given the attention it deserves is the fact that, as cited by the Department of Agriculture, for every Php100 contributed to the economy by agriculture, only Php10 goes back to it in the form of government spending.
For Philippine agriculture to live up to its full potential, the present situation must not continue. What is needed is a different way of viewing and valuing the agricultural sector in this country: To look at our economic development goals and objectives in terms of what can be done through agriculture and what cannot be done through agriculture.
The national government will need to “think agriculture” even as it thinks of trade and industry, foreign affairs, public works and telecommunications, peace and order, and so forth. Agriculture must be seen at the heart of the economy and given the true care, attention, and resources it deserves.**
[written for Diyaryo Milenyo Digital News]