DA Food Security Summit must include farmers, fishers, and real food producers

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas(KMP) said the Food Security Summit called by Malacanang and the Department of Agriculture will be nothing more than a farcical event if it will not address the situation of the country’s productive forces —  farmers, fisherfolks, and sectors involved in agriculture and food production. “Walang saysay ang Summit na ito kung DA at private sector lang ang mag-uusap at hindi kasali ang mga lumilikha ng pagkain.”

“The upcoming Food Security Summit would only be a face-saving activity for the Duterte regime and its entire cabal of taskforces on food security if it would not include farmers, fishers, and real food producers,” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.  

While the Food Security Summit aims to discuss measures to mitigate the upsurge in pork prices, the drop in palay farmgate prices, and the continuing onslaught of the African Swine Flu (ASF), it must also take into account actual demands and proposals of farmers and food producers.

KMP forewarned that the Summit might focus only on DA’s marketing and logistics solutions rather than actual support to food producers particularly farmers, hog raisers, and breeders who are affected by high production costs. “DA is looking at importation, tariff reduction, and loans to address the problems of the hog and swine industries. However, a comprehensive rehabilitation of the entire livestock and poultry industries is necessary to help raisers and producers recover,” Ramos said.

The upcoming Summit will also reportedly outline a National Food Security Plan.

“Any plans or visions for a national food security plan must start with the sincere intent to implement genuine agrarian reform and rural industrialization.”

KMP said the Duterte government, in principle, agreed with free land distribution during the 2017 peace talks that tackled comprehensive social and economic reforms. “It is high time for the government to revisit proposals outlined in the common draft on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development signed by both the GRP and the NDFP,” the peasant leader said.

This morning, farmers and consumers trooped to markets for the Kalampag kontra Kagutuman activities that will culminate in a protest at the Department of Agriculture on Monday coinciding with the second year of the Rice Liberalization Law. ###

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