Philippine Agriculture and Self Sufficiency

Philippine Agriculture and Self Sufficiency

Sep 27, 2023, 7:04 AM
Sonny Domingo

Sonny Domingo


PBBM: What's this hullaballo that I should resign from DA or the Presidency?

KA SONNY: Sir, your Presidency and being Secretary of Agriculture are intertwined to a situation where "damn if you do and damn if you don't".

As a result this led to your sacking a brilliant DOF Usec. Cielo D. Magno, PhD, whose only fault is pointing out that there is such a thing as Law of Supply and Demand which your DA and DTI executives forgot because of overwork and even panic that you will become unpopular as you travel around the world looking for investors.

But if only you start to thinking that our 4 million farmers consolidated as one investing P75,000 each every year with borrowed money are already your investors (and even your consumers under a circular economy if given the purchasing power with better farm gate prices ) creating employment for themselves and other farm workers then you need not look for other investors.

I admire you for taking the "horn by the bull" when you took the DA portfolio. But this could be your waterloo if you do not watch out.

PBBM: What do you mean? Is my best not enough?

KA SONNY: Sir, that is not the issue here.

For example the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore that you just attended is a game of acceleration and efficiency. First your team must have the efficiency to change your tires faster than the others. They call this lead time. Then you must manage your acceleration and at the same time balance you car. The more important one is that you have the right formula to power your engines. This is why they call it FORMULA ONE or that your sponsor as a car racer must have the right octane minus the weight of your car and the cross wind in your tracts.

The lighter your car the faster will be your micro speed ratio.

PBBM: And how thus this relate to my accelerating our rice production with the DA and my Presidency especially now that I am taking the flak.

KA SONNY: Simple, Mr. President. To have acceleration, you must now centralize your budget at DA. At present the DA policy is to divide its budget to all regions to funding their production interventions under a dozen banner programs funding a little of this and that for decades with zero impact.

You must now have a paradigm shift of converting DA from a service provider to a food producer government department in co-operation with selected rice farming communities and fisherfolk villages.

To accelerate your production (like your F1 car) of rice and corn you must now lay aside your excess baggage which are your banner programs and training modules. (Our farmers and fisherfolks are already over trained and the program funding given them under your banner programs are emaciated for lack of enough funds and Professional Management).

DA, under your leadership, must now change its "mind set" from a Department of Gardening and Importation to a Department of Production and Exports which requires enough funding to have the economies of scale and professional management - not training and technical assistance.

It is only this way that you can win the F1 Formula race. Also you can easily do this in two years time way before the next election.

Oh! by the way, there is also a call for your NEDA and Finance Secretary to resign for failing to advice you properly like saying "Sir, you can not play around with pricing as there is such a thing called Price Equlibrium. Just now you just announced that we can produce palay at P15 per kilo. This no longer true especially if you add the implicit cost of the farmers labor for at least 150 day during the rainy season and his downtime as a unit of labor during the dry season when he has no irrigated (wasted national manpower).

This is already old statistics. You have a RIP Van Winkle advising or must have come from the bunddock and does not know how to use communications to update his/her on formation befire giving it to you. (Also with this unit price to produce palay, it is clear you can not hold your promise of making rice sold at P 20 per kilo, add to this the high transportation cost.)

But you can play around with importing rice or better still as we usually advice "just allow the price of palay and rice to seek their own levels".

Just help our farmers graduate from subsistence farming to commercial farming thru an integrated farming system with Professional Managers under their payroll and using your budget as a public investment to "jump start" instead of funding training, banner programs and technical services. For this you need not "read my lips".

Just change the mindset of DA and partner with LGUs and Regional Development Councils to lessen the unit cost of rice.

(EDITORS NOTE: Ka Sonny is Chairman for Life of KaMMMPi (Kapisanan ng Magsasaka, Mangigisda at.Manggawan ng Pilipinas) and Chairman of the PhilAgriFunds (Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Guarantee Funding Systems). For more of Chimeric Conversation please open " )

#ChimericConversation #SonnyDomingo #PhilippineAgricultureAndSelfSufficiency #Agriculture #SelfSufficiency #Marcos #PBBM #DA #DepartmentOfAgriculture #OpinYonColumn #OpinYon #WeTakeAStand

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