THE Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI) on Wednesday urged the government to stockpile food in the event of supply chain disruptions if China ever makes good on its long-running threat to invade Taiwan.
PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto said the resulting embargoes or blockades are likely to disrupt commercial shipping and in turn the delivery of agricultural goods.
“What we are expecting here is a commercial shipping blockade or possible trade embargo, he said, noting that the US may retaliate by intercepting shipping at the Strait of Malacca, through which much China’s trade passes,” Mr. Fausto said in a forum.
“We have to expect the worst and be self-sufficient,” he said.
Mr. Fausto called on the government to subsidize farm inputs while maintaining reserves of grain and other staples.
“At the moment, because this is immediate, we are recommending that those vacant warehouses at (National Food Authority) compounds all over the country, be utilized for buffer stocking,” he said.
Meanwhile, Alberto D. Lina, founding chairman of logistics company Air21 and former customs commissioner, said the gaps in the food supply chain include cold storage faculties, silos, driers, and mills.
Addressing these gaps will involve the creation of cooperatives to consolidate farmers’ purchasing power, marketing, and distribution capacity, he said.
Mr. Fausto said a Taiwan crisis is only “a matter of time.”
“The Philippines will have to be prepared. We have to prepare our people for possible shortages of food; therefore, we have to increase productivity and (build up) buffers for food security,” he added. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera