Modernization of unsatisfied agro-fishing | The Manila Times
SEVERAL economic experts stress the importance of improving the agriculture and fisheries sector to ensure the Philippines’ post-pandemic recovery, noting that 25 years after the passing of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act fishing (AFMA), the sector has progressed but has not been “modernised”. .”
Roehlano Briones, a senior fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), said AFMA (Republic Act 8435) was considered landmark law when it was signed into law in 1997. However, Briones pointed out that based objectives of the AFMA, the country has still not achieved the modernization of agriculture as envisaged by this law.
“Progress has been made but the sector hasn’t really modernized according to those goals. And if things continue as they are, we won’t see it modernize even in the short to medium term, say, within this next administration,” Briones said. , who presented the results of his study during a recent PIDS webinar.
He noted that the sector’s total factor productivity (TFP), an overall measure of productivity, showed that the sector’s growth ranged “from mediocre at best and negative at worst” from the 1960s to 2016.
Meanwhile, PIDS President Aniceto Orbeta Jr. said, “A productive and sustainable agricultural sector is essential in post-pandemic recovery… Improving the agricultural sector is a crucial factor in economic development, achieving sustainable economic goals, reducing poverty and hunger, food security and improving agricultural productivity.
Statistics from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) show that around 24.3% of the country’s total employment in 2018, equivalent to more than 10 million Filipinos, was employed in agriculture.
“The latest PSA data also showed that farmers and fishermen have the highest incidence of poverty among the basic sectors, at around 31% and 26%, respectively,” Orbeta said.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for Attached Agencies, Rodolfo Vicerra, said one way to fill the gaps in AFMA implementation is to better organize farmers and fishers.
“While farmers’ and fishermen’s associations are numerous, they are more like loose groupings where the discipline to run their business and business is not there,” he said, pointing out that this is an area that should be prioritized in future DA programs.