Farmers plea for fair trade
Agriculture

Farmers plea for fair trade

May 18, 2023, 7:52 AM
Zashi Garcia

Zashi Garcia

Writer

In the sun-soaked fields of the Philippines, a battle is being waged. But this battle involves no guns or armies—instead, it's a fight for fair trade, with the country's farmers on the front lines.

Agriculture is a critical sector in the Philippines, with over a quarter of the country's population depending on it for their livelihoods. However, these farmers often find themselves at the mercy of fluctuating market prices, exploitative middlemen, and the crippling effects of climate change.

Take, for instance, the plight of the rice farmers. Despite the Philippines being the world's eighth-largest rice producer, many rice farmers live in poverty. A significant factor is the Rice Tariffication Law, which allows for the unrestricted importation of cheaper rice, making it harder for local farmers to compete.

The fight for fair trade is not merely about ensuring farmers receive a fair price for their produce; it's about securing a dignified life for these hardworking individuals. It's about acknowledging their role in feeding the nation and ensuring they are not left behind in the march toward progress.

Fortunately, movements toward fair trade are gaining momentum. Organizations like the Fair Trade Alliance and the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries are advocating for the rights of farmers, promoting fair trade practices, and providing necessary training and support.

But more needs to be done. As consumers, we can contribute by buying directly from local farmers or choosing products with fair trade certifications. As a nation, we must prioritize agricultural reforms that ensure our farmers get a fair deal.

The fight of the Filipino farmers is a fight for survival, dignity, and justice. It's time we lend our voices to their cause and sow the seeds of change.


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