What Happened To The Philippine Agriculture?

What Happened To The Philippine Agriculture?


The Philippines is a small country,
consisting of seven thousand six hundred and forty-one islands. Also known as the
pearl of the orient the Philippines is one of the most biodiverse countries in the
world. Their abundance in ecology allows them to reap the benefits of both a
developing nation and an agricultural country. Their motto – for God people
nature and country. Despite hundreds of political and social
problems they are currently battling, the Filipino people have an even more
pressing problem- agriculture. Agriculture is a huge part of any civilization. They
feed and nurture the people while cultivating the ecology of the land if
it wasn’t for farmers, we would all cease to exist.
Why? Well, because without farmers there won’t be life in the land. Unfortunately,
their stories are often left untold. In the 60’s, Philippines were proud to
be one of the top agricultural countries in the world they were world class and
renown farmers, and this reputation led international students to study their
practices, hence, International Rice Research Institute was born. Philippines
should take pride in the fact that the largest nonprofit Agricultural Research
Center was established in Los Banos Laguna. The International Rice Research
Center is a non-profit research center that paved the way to pre-empt the Asian
famine in the 60s. The 60s was the Philippines hayday far
from what we know now. There is an article published by the Philippine Star
called “Agriculture is Dying”. It is shown in the article that as of
2017 only 25.96% of the Filipino people are farmers. Unfortunately, this is
the sad truth we live with today. They single-handedly cultivated an
entire nation, not only do they feed people but in times of grief, they also
fought for the nation. These people put their blood, sweat, and tears into their
livelihood. But you gotta ask How do we repay them? Who is the Filipino farmer? According
to a study by the Philippine Rice Research Institute, a group that works on
rice development under the Department of Agriculture, the typical Filipino rice
farmer only has eight years of average schooling, with an average household of five
people, an average annual income of a 104,268 PHP equivalent to 2,017 64 USD for over 30 years in farming, the average age of 54 to 56 years old, 87%
are married, and 89 percent rely on farming alone. one hundred four thousand two hundred
and sixty eight pesos sounds like a huge amount of money but when you break it
down to a monthly income it sounds deplorable farmers earn around
eight thousand pesos or a hundred and fifty four US dollars per month but –
utility bills and expenses for agricultural supplies, THERE ISN’T ANY
BUDGET LEFT for meals health care and school fees. In the United States,
farmers can earn this revenue by working in only five hours. Though the Department of Agriculture’s budget has been
increased and will continue to increase, they are not able to help out the
farmers who have been cheated out of their own land. Urbanization of prime agricultural land seems to be the priority the country’s
government. If shopping malls and amusement parks replace the farmlands,
what would the nation eat? If farmers become extinct due to the fact that they
barely make enough money to feed their families, how will the country thrive?
Countries of over Asia put all effort in becoming self-sustaining countries by
prioritizing their agriculture. How is it that the countries that were only taught
how to farm by Filipinos are now more developed? Is it because people choose to
purchase exports? Or is it because the government is slowly killing them and
has failed to foster agriculture? The government has failed to treasure these
heroes who put their blood, sweat, and tears to feeding the nation. Proper
irrigation systems are almost non-existent.
Farm-to-market roads are nowhere to be seen.
And the mass importation of rice is killing local farmers. Filipinos owe
their lives to their farmers they spent their lives in public service by
nourishing every citizen. If the government prioritizes the importation
of goods and force farmers to throw their harvest because of oversupply, THEN
WHAT KIND OF GRATITUDE DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE? As of today farmers in
the Philippines are a dying breed. Most are near retirement but can’t afford to
put down their sickles because the Philippine government was
not able to sustain them. In the 60s, the agricultural sector contributed 31%
of the country’s gross domestic product. Now? It is down to 9%. The Republic
is losing farmers not only because the agricultural sector is now the second
poorest in the country, but also because their government has failed them. Every time you sit with your friends and
families over dinner, imagine the people who spent hours
tilling the soil. Each time you get up in the morning and drink coffee, think about the farmers
who painstakingly grow local beans. Farmers are unsung heroes who deserve the prestige
and glory the world has to offer. Without them there might be no us.

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