Solution to Philippine Agriculture Problem?

Bending some more to sprout the country’s rice sufficiency in the next few years, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap told Boholanos he wants the country to consider novel solutions to agriculture.

The young agriculture head went on to say that the country’s irrigations should be devolved to local governments for efficiency and responsiveness to the needs of the areas.

The country’s irrigation facilities are still administered by the National Irrigation Administration and irrigation facilities sit only be at the mercy of the government in maintenance and costs incurred from emergencies.

Now, seeing that the move could trigger agricultural productivity, Sec. Yap pushes for the devolution and administration of the irrigation systems to host local government units.

With this, he also asked the Asian Development Bank representative present at the Bohol Poverty Reduction and Development Initiatives Fair 2008 (Poverty Fair) to study the development paradigms and bring down agri-infrastructure support services and facilities to the country.

Still staking his hope and engrossed in assuring the country’s food sufficiency, the aggie chief who admits his affinity being married to a Boholana reminded everyone that 35% of the country’s population is still engaged in agriculture.

According to him, solutions provided by other countries do not necessarily work in the Philippines.

Yap said in a country where the average farmer tills .8 hectares in mountain slopes and constantly rocked by typhoons annually, mechanization would not work perfectly.

He hinted however that he would rather count on the innovative capability of the Filipino.

We need novel ideas and solutions to agriculture, he stressed as he asked Bohol development partners present at the Poverty Fair to study the paradigms in Bohol.

Quoting statistics, he said country has only 1.4 million hectares developed from its 4 million hectare irrigable farmlands, he said the move to devolve could hit the country’s food sufficiency in record time.

Still struggling with the impression that much of the government funds were mismanaged in the hands of local governments, Yap hinted that it may not be their fault after all.

DA extension services were not devolved so technical workers cant be seen on the ground, he said.

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