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A call for a professionalized bureaucracy

Is Philippine civil service up to the demands of inclusive development? Are our rural development agencies, specifically, the Department of Agriculture (DA), up to speed?

Has Mindanao agriculture diversified at all?

Mindanao, with six regions, has the highest poverty incidence (36% in 2015) among the three main island groups including Luzon and Visayas. The region hosts a disproportionate percentage of rural poor. Agriculture diversification is key to reducing the high rural poverty.

Poverty reduction: President Duterte’s lasting legacy

The Philippine Development Plan targets the reduction of the national poverty headcount to 14% in 2022 from 21.6% in 2015. Relatedly, rural poverty is expected to fall to 20% from 30%.

Poverty incidence down: Time to celebrate?

The NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) recently announced that the poverty headcount in the first semester of 2018 reached 21% as compared to 27.6% in the same period of 2015.

Which Philippine regions are advancing and lagging?

Over the past eight years and two administrations, the Philippine economy posted a high growth rate averaging over 6% a year and an average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth of 4.5% a year. The strategic question is: Which regions have been advancing and which have been lagging over the past eight years?

Tree crops development in ASEAN

Permanent crops are mainly trees (e.g., coffee, cacao, rubber) but they also include palms (e.g., coconut, oil palm) and vines (e.g., pepper) (www.fao.org). They are planted and possess long economic life. By contrast, temporary or annual crops are sown and harvested during the same agricultural year. Examples are rice, corn, sweet potato, peanuts and vegetables.

Agri-development: more than irrigation, post-harvest facilities, and farm-to-market roads

Many politicians propose solving rural poverty via three areas: irrigation, post-harvest facilities and farm-to-market roads. I beg to differ. It is much more than that. Indeed, needs are area and crop-specific. High productivity and diversification require these investments, but there are more to spur investments.

A tale of two agricultures: The Philippines and Vietnam

If there is an agriculture miracle in the ASEAN in the past two decades, it is Vietnam. It is not hard to compare Vietnam with the Philippines. They have similarities in terms of land area, population, agricultural area, and, I guess, farm sizes.

Global Prosperity Rankings: Where is the Philippines?

The Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI) offers unique insights into how prosperity is changing across the world. The LPI defines prosperity “as more than just the accumulation of material wealth, but also as the joy of everyday life and the prospect of being able to build an even better life in the future.” The Legatum Institute is a London-based think-tank with a global vision: to see all people lifted out of poverty (https://www.prosperity.com/).

Where is the Philippines in Global Hunger in ASEAN?

What is the score of global hunger in ASEAN?

Commodity Price Volatility is a fact of life

2018 is a subdued year for many world-traded commodities. Prices are down. The Philippine countryside was not spared, as it is reeling from the effects of low farm prices of coconut oil palm and rubber. The bitter part is that farmers and workers are saddled with high food prices.

The hard truth about high-value crops

High-value commercial crops refer to “those crops that have competitive returns on investment when traded in fresh form vis–a–vis alternative investment opportunities. These crops are characterized by defined regular or niche market or potential domestic and/or export markets, command high prices, with value added or are good foreign exchange earners. High-value commercial crops are also called non-traditional crops. (High Value Crops Farmer Guidelines – Department of Agriculture (DA) – CAR).

Long-term agri productivity gap: The major cause of poverty

Why is national poverty incidence in the Philippines more than twice that of ASEAN peers -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam? It is even magnified in the farmers’ and fishers’ poverty of 34%. Thesis: it is due to broad-based low productivity and concentration on few products.

A new management structure for agriculture

By many metrics, Philippine agriculture trails its ASEAN peers by a mile. The peers are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Expansion of ASEAN food corporations

Many Philippine companies expand overseas to reach more consumers and increase revenues. Also, companies can utilize global markets to introduce unique products and services (https://www.bizjournals.com/).

Philippine fisheries dying

Philippine fishery production declined between 2010 and 2017. As a result, since 2010, the contribution of fishery to agriculture growth has been negative.

The most inclusive province: Bataan

If poverty incidence is the metric of inclusivity, what province wins? Bataan. Surprised? Let us compare the scores of provinces with the least number of...

Memories of UP ‘masa’ dorm

Yakal is a dorm in UP Diliman. It was a “masa” dorm as it had double-deck beds good for four. It was known...

Agriculture: Arroyo and Aquino years and Duterte’s trajectory

Bill Gates of the Gates Foundation supports many initiatives in developing countries. He has espoused the decisive role of agriculture in development. Of the...

The tale of two Mindanao regions

This article will examine the progress of two key regions in Mindanao: Davao and the Zamboanga Peninsula. Davao, in the east, faces the Pacific...

Tracking Global Food Security in 2017: Where is the Philippines?

The Global Food Security Index (GFSI), developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit with sponsorship from DuPont, is a universal benchmarking tool on food...

Poverty reduction is business expansion

How will poverty reduction impact on businesses’ bottom lines? And why should businesses seek rational spending on poverty alleviation? Here is why. The Philippines had...