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7107 is the number of islands that makes the Philippines. The Philippines is part of South East Asia and is known for exporting rice throughout the world. The Philippines has a land area of 30 million hectares. Only 13 million hectares of it is used for agriculture. I will now discuss problems that make the Philippines' agricultural state not contributing to the food crisis. I am not degrading my own country. I am showing a solution to a major crisis by solving these problems and to show you that this a hidden gem ready to be discovered if the problems are solved.

1. Food Hoarding. Especially Rice, hoarders in the Philippines store all the food so they could sell it later for a much more higher price. While this may seem to be "profitable" for the country, in some cases (correct me if I am wrong), they do not know the magnitude of hoarding.

During 2008 , the price for a sack of rice rose to almost 50 % its normal price. From 300+ Pesos ($6) to a whopping 500+ pesos ($10) and may be still rising. Due to this, the economy goes down even though the economy could have used those resources to be sold around the world to boost the economy and no food crisis would have happened.

Due to hoarding, the Philippines is instead importing food that they already produce to answer demand! The Philippines is one of the world's biggest rice exporters and now they ask for rice to be imported?! Yes, this is true, at one time the food crisis was so bad that the government sold below-the-line (low quality) food to the people.

2. If you have ever been to the Philippines. It is covered in green ALL YEAR ROUND this is due for only having dry and wet weather in the Philippines. The Philippines is perfect for agriculture in fact, One of the islands, namely Cebu, exports mangoes around the world.

To explain the problem, in my opinion, the economy is instead following the global trend, modernizing the country. For me, this is not the right path for my country, why? The agricultural potential is there!

Food, Clothing and Shelter are the basics of survival. Modernizing can help the economy but if you think about it , the Philippines has a lot of fertile land to use for agriculture! Agriculture can be categorized as Food. Now we all know, that everyone needs food. Instead of focusing on modernization, the Philippines should use their land for agriculture.

Now you may be thinking, 30 million hectares is not that much but it is. According to the land capability, 78.31% of the country's land is suitable for agriculture. The Philippines is a developing country and if that country focuses on their strongest attribute which is agriculture, they would boost their economy and could answer the world's needs as well.

You might be thinking why I am discussing this topic. One is that , as a developing country, it looks for a way to fit the needs of the world. As you are reading this blog, farmers are learning to plant organics. Yes, organics.

Don't take my word on this , see for it yourself. This country is a hidden gem. Do not focus on the media discussing about the crisis as we can really see that if we are being resourceful we can see countries that have untouched land that could be used to help our demand and different crisis.

As I close this topic, I might not be accurate for I am still on the verge of being an adult but thinking of ways of being resourceful of the world's needs is very much needed during this time. Now look at the picture above, do you think the Banawe Rice Terraces ( one of the wonders of the world) was carved for no reason by our ancestors?



Views: 30

Comment by Carlo Delantar on March 21, 2010 at 9:42pm
it is not only that but we do not feel the magnitude of the crisis
Comment by Carlo Delantar on March 21, 2010 at 10:02pm
@murray very well said. Politics is always in the way. I hope the world could find gems like these to help out. As human beings, we know how to evolve to the situation
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 21, 2010 at 10:11pm
This is just so inspiring. +1 for Knowledge Share
Comment by Claire Moylan on March 22, 2010 at 2:00am
I think you're beginning to really question your reality. If progress is so good for everyone, why is it making an agricultural country import rice? Why is that happening? What kind of mind shift would make people realize that any time you import more than you export, you're growing poorer by the day? That countries wage war on each other through economics, and that when you can no longer feed yourself, you have no option but to be enslaved just to survive?
Comment by Carlo Delantar on March 22, 2010 at 3:10am
@claire correct me if im wrong but are you saying that im questioning the Philippines's agriculture?

If yes, then no. I placed this post up so that people will see what is really happening in developing countries. Cartels, private companies use their productions to their advantage and not selling it ASAP so that they can get more profit if they sell it a month or so.

Second, importing is when you get resources from foreign countries. If you read it carefully, there was a time when importing of rice had to be an option because the shortage was too much even though the Philippines, itself, can support itself with rice.

In this post, I am portraying a hidden gem that should be renewed, remodeled to progress for the good.
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 22, 2010 at 4:33am
shortages result due to man made inefficiencies, and in most cases result as a lack of institutional governance & monitoring system to employ their capital to manage the supply side or demand side of the demand supply curve. So it is not resources but resourcefulness that matters more than anything else. Food procurement and food distribution in almost every emerging economy (even India which is sad) is in the hand of the government.

So civil servants collude with trading cartels and syndicates (mind you these are very rich people or families, often with billions of dollars to play the timing of the market: like Indonesia's Suharto was one) and create shortages by wrongly timing the market. Food scarcity has huge political ramifications and therefore political leadership often has contingencies (Plan B)....which means that they will most certainly have buffer stock cushions in their storehouses and still prefer to import excess stock at inflationary prices so that they can intervene the normal market's demand and supply (that is why it is called regulation)...in India, there are instances when the government storehouses are full of food grains while the government is still importing grains from outside....the issue is very very complicated...

Most of us who are lucky to be a part of a good governed country (for example say, UK) will find it hard to believe this truth that Carlo has pointed out. Shortages happen not because of any real scarcity in the agricultural production but due to a number of other reasons but principal reason is the inability of the state to manage the supply chain. Countries where there is an indirect subsidy for poor (which is basically government buying food-grains and distributing it through a public distribution system or PDS), shortages are absolutely dependent on the logistical infrastructure to mobilize the grains to the people. Carlo rightly pointed out that cartels or syndicates (and mostly ministers and high ranking civil servants are part of it unofficially) often use this opportunity to create bottle-necks in the last mile logistics of any such distribution. (it is common sense: if the grain does not go to the poor but can be diverted to the market, the cartels can make more money). It is highly complicated. And very difficult to fathom from outside.

So even a rice growing country like Philippines can be a victim of institutional inefficiency that can cause shortages or it appears that shortages happen.
Comment by Carlo Delantar on March 22, 2010 at 4:48am
Very well said Rahul
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 22, 2010 at 6:23am
Traditional methods like this one are some of the most innovative. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but they are truly some of the most productive agricultural systems inch by inch.
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on March 22, 2010 at 12:00pm
+ LI. An important question is how can we monitize agriculture for the individual farmer. This will definatly make a difference in future production. Farmers will be less prone to manipulation. Hording to sell in future may not necessarily be bad economics - we do it with money all the time. Mangoes all year round - I want to live in Cebu!!
Comment by Claire Moylan on March 22, 2010 at 12:09pm
No, Carlo, I was saying you were questioning the established order that progress is going to make people wealthier. Often, it makes them poorer. Only some people get rich. I think you were very accurate in your depiction of what goes on and I didn't see anything derogatory about the Phillipines at all. This type of stuff happens in Argentina, Africa, and all over the world too.


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