A Hope for Agriculture, Forestry
and Natural Resources Sectors
by Delano T. Tefora
Today, we want to break ground for hope that rides on the back of our willingness to cooperate, work harder, and see the large picture of our status. This reminds me before, when I was with the government work, Secretary Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) gave during the awarding ceremony in the national Symposium of Agriculture and Resources Research and Development in his message disclosed that with Science and Technology expanded mandate, it must create value, livelihood, opportunities and renewed sense of hope for the countryside advancement.
Sec. Montejo outlined five key programs with PCAARRD which will be able to “look wider, further with dear, sandals-to-the-ground objectives.” First to work on a program that will raise agricultural productivity through smart farming system including seed selection to improve high quality seed use. The DOST will support State Universities and Colleges which specialize in seed-related research and development program.
Second, PCAARRD should promote efficient use of water in agriculture. “We should be able to scan, acquire and adopt technologies that can determine or monitor the right amount of moisture in soil or water in plant.”
Third, PCAARRD should promote the use of fertilizer along with water and other farm inputs. “We must focus on developing awareness on the land and be able to apply which fertilizer for specific crops to cut farming losses and raise yield.”
Fourth, Sec. Montejo urged the PCAARRD to push the use of biomarkers in coconut. “We need to use our coconut wisely through the adoption of genome technology.” The coconut industry is yet to catch up with the growing demand for healthy products like coconut sap, sugar, and virgin coco oil.
Montejo emphasized the important role the private sector plays to achieve higher agricultural productivity in the countryside. He also expressed his concern on the shortage of farming workforce due to the steady rural to urban migration. He said that a mechanization program for the farm sector will help address the manpower lack. There are many non-complicated mechanical farm equipment that we can help design and build using locally available parts and supplies. In the process, we will also create sub-industries in the metals and engineering sectors.
The real and immediate challenge to PCAARRD is to “wade outside its structural and metal gate fortified over the years to ensure the stronger public-private sectors collaboration in the agricultural, forestry and natural resources (AFNR). The council will succeed in helping the country achieve sustainable, inclusive, and science and technology based development path. But these will become elusive to realize due to political intervention and the ongoing corruption in the government, Montejo pointed out.
The most painstaking and careful undertaking to evaluate and understand the message of Sec. Montejo stating the outline of the AFNR programs when it will be put in place will create a great performance in fact on the beneficiary’s welfare. It’s time now to get involve to know where is the peoples’ money for we can describe major sources of evidence to prove while the investigation is ongoing. But unknowingly, we do not know where to go and when to end to pinpoint the responsible culprit in the government.
In support to my contention in the government sector, most are dishonest and has a complete denial of the scams demonstrating the inefficiency of public service while less fortunate people are being politicized. They don’t give a chance to oppressed indigent to breath and feel better in providing support services to boost the families’ income. We want to be able to keep the victims of the strong effect of pork barrel scams resulting to poverty. Involved officials and leaders of our government show that people misread or failed to understand them because they did it in good faith.
There is a saying “no one is above the law” but because being the highest officials in the government, our constitution is no longer imployed. We don’t want to let our less fortunate Filipino brothers’ just die miserably. In this country, can we enjoy genuine public service from our public servants with but “lagay” or grease money since this is a common practice in all aspects of our governance.
Only God knows to help pave the way for officials to follow policies and laws dedicated to implement programs to support the Filipino people in its thrust to improve the welfare of the rural poor through the 4P’s. National and local governments had been constantly faced with challenges of persisting poverty and swelling population. Planting rice is like a long prayed for solution to the problem encountered in the quest for sustainable food security.
But importation of rice became the key approach to solve the problem and not to increase rice productivity and profitability for rice producers-farmers as funds go to somewhere else. We know where it is going. Several projects, targets and goals did not happen, but justified when flood and typhoon come.
Sorry, my dear Filipino brothers in the field. Nobody accepts ownership of responsibility to all the misdeeds at hand./MP