December 12, 2017, 9:07 am
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Price of rice too high for the poor

THE price of rice is too high for the Filipino poor, according to Roger Van Din Brink World Bank economist for the Philippines.

His claim jives with the warning by former World Bank president Robert Zollick who said the world is nearing a dangerous point where soaring food prices can create economic instability not only in the Philippines but worldwide.

Agriculture, according to noted inventor Gonzalo Catan, Jr., executive vice president of Mapecon Green Charcoal Philippines, can play an important role in staving off the crisis. But for it to bail us from the impending crisis, he said, the government must remove its bias against agriculture.

Agriculture is a vital cog in the economy. It comprises one fifth of the country’s domestic products and provides livelihood to more than 40 percent of the population.

Despite its importance, however, farmers remain among the poorest in the country. With the investment climate so biased against the industry, its growth has for years been in the decline.

“Let us make the farmers realize and be proud that it is they who feed the people,” stressed Catan whose firm is engaged in the manufacture of vermicast organic fertilizer. – GERRY CONSTANTINO
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