FUTURE FARMING for the FEDERATION

By V. L. Sonny Domingo

The revolutionary tack for Philippine Agriculture, which Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered to Sec. Manny Pinol, will mean that the subsistence level small holder farming will now be a thing of the past.

A farmers’ federation proposed under the ASA (Agribusiness Systems Approach) that will now cluster small farmers into modules of 1,000 hectares. They will be provided with their own “Electrigation”, tractor pool, rice mill and food processing complex for value adding to prime the economy, develop the rural areas and create employment in their communities.

With Professional Managers for the their projects and Licensed Agriculturist for every 100 farmers, they now have the economies of scale to produce the volume needed at any point in time and get the best price for their produce.

With volume production, this will now encourage value adding and processing creating new MSME’s in the countryside which now requires the support of the Dept. of Trade and Industry.

Climate change and risk from inclement weather will now be controlled and practically changing the climate by changing the cropping pattern. . They will now be planting and harvesting 10 hectares per day with optimum yields since their soils are now rehabilitated with green manuring and the application of humic acid to improve the water holding capacity of their soils and provide humus hence neutralizing the soils to now release the micro elements needed for plant growth.

Since they can also now harvest at least 3 crops a year, they can contribute to the food security program of Sec. Pinol and get more profits from farming as using VSAFE Organic Farming Technology as per picture here. This is called “Future Farming for Food Security” that can now support a “Federation Farming” using the P 1 Billion promised by Pres. Duterte for every region to insure their food security.

The subsistence farmers will now have gotten away from the back breaking transplanting and harvesting to using mechanical transplanters and harvesting vis-à-vis the Jurassic farming of planting and harvesting palay by hand.

Our farmers will now be modernized and operate their farms as a multimillion agribusiness owning 50% of the stock shares. Value adding can make them millionaires under the Duterte administration.

The 1,000 farmers enrolled in the project through a social engineering provided by a farmers’ federation and under GET SMART FarmS (Green Energy Technologies for Systematic, Modernized, Appropriate Rural Technologies for Farmers Sustainability) will now go beyond subsistence farming to commercial farming to produce top quality vegetables.

They do not only own the agribusiness but can provide agricultural services to fellow farmers that have not fully mechanized by contracting out their machines and labor. With extra labor on their hands they can now engage in agro-industrialization such as the processing and packaging of food products for value adding.

DA USING THE WRONG DATA

Using a wrong and obsolete data is the nightmare of planners.

Sec. Emmanuel F. Piñol is right in exposing this, because he will be the first victim of such inefficiency and indifference by the Dept. of Agriculture.

The use of obsolete data is a waste of time and money. And it will dislocate good plans to achieve food and feed security.

There is another data that has been hidden from the public. It is the real score in food insufficiency as shown in the following graph below:

It appears that the food sufficiency level of the country remains below 80% circa 2014 a year after the failure of the 2013 DA declaration of food self sufficiency.

With the present practice of dole out at the DA and just providing seeds or credit to the smallholder farmers, the production remains stagnant while the population grows. Such statistics hidden from the public and even government planners is the writing on the wall that we are going into a food crisis.

This means that the present government approach of increasing productivity is not working. There has to be a paradigm shift if we have to produce the 1.8 million MT shortfalls that is expected for next year or this year.

This requires the clustering of farms to double their production but they cannot do this for as long as the DA Policy is not change to allow the funding of commercial farms emanating from small holder farms requiring social engineering to cluster them and have the economies of scale.

The budgeting practice of government for the communities to identify their own projects under a Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) does not allow the integration of projects leading to inefficiency and corruption.

Then the downloading of the DA funds to the regional directors who will then approved the projects, fund the projects, monitor the projects and finally evaluate the projects by themselves is an incestuous development strategy hence hindering productivity and discouraging the initiatives of the private sector and the non government organizations involve in rural development to propose and participate with government programs.

Hence for as long as the policies and systems for corruption continue at the Dept. of Agriculture and even other government agencies helping it, It will be an exercise in futility.

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