Thursday , May 24, 2018

Biz leader: Food security at risk

WITH less younger people interested into farming, food security might be at a bigger risk in the future, said Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) president.

DCCCII president Arturo Milan said Davao City should focus more on the agricultural investments as these generate more jobs than the other business sectors.

“If you look at the investments coming to Davao City, mostly it is on the service sector. In the service sector there are only two that generate a lot of jobs. This is the BPO/ICT and Tourism. All the others, like condos and malls, do create but not as much. It is really in the agriculture and manufacturing that’s why there’s so much poverty in our agricultural lands because there’s not much there,” Milan said during the weekly press conference Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao Monday, February 12.

He added the ultimate fear of the industry is that eventually the Filipinos will not have as abundant food to eat as the country currently has because there wouldn’t be as many farmers. The younger generation, he said, would rather venture into other industries outside agriculture.

He said farmers had exerted great effort while others applied for loans before they were able to get the money from tilling the soil and harvesting. Compared to farming, other industries like driving habal-habal are a much easier choice for the younger generation as it guarantees faster money source.

“I think it’s really important that we promote agriculture and make it attractive…The government should really make agriculture more attractive. I was talking to the ambassador of South Korea the other night and we were discussing about how we can make agriculture as strategic alliances between developed countries. If you look at South Korea and Japan, they have an aging population. They do not have many farmers as well. Ultimately, food security will be the biggest risk for developed countries,” he said.

He suggested to the South Korean official to make Philippines, particularly Davao Region, the strategic source of food. He said this would be a good business venture.

“So by the time they need the food, there’s already a regular supplier [with good] quality and pricing. This has to be done in a long-term basis. They actually said, why not because they recognized the fact that they have aging population. Nobody wants to go into farming. Everybody wants to go into technology. But we all are going to eat, anyway,” Milan said. (JPA)