Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Whatever Happened to the Lease of 1/10 of Phil. Agricultural Land to China?

The Philippines has about 10 million hectares of arable land devoted to and classified as agricultural lands. Although geographically such agricultural lands are not used in cultivating a single crop due to geographical circumstances such as availability of irrigation all year round, these lands are the main capital in the Philippine agricultural system. Thus, the ownership and utilization of agricultural land remains a contentious social, political and economic issue in the Philippines.

Way back in 2007, the Department of Agriculture decided to lease 1 million hectares of Philippine agricultural land to the Chinese. Yes folks! No need for an invasion! The DA leased 1 million hectares to Jilin Fuhua Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. (Fuhua Co.). That is 1/10 of available Philippine agricultural land.

Fuhua Co. Planned to plant hybrid rice, corn and sorghum in these lands. This was to meet the Medium Term Development Plan which is to develop 2 million hectares of agricultural land. The contract is expected to bring in about US$3.87 billion in investments.

The MOU with Fuhua Co. was one of 18 agriculture- and fisheries-related contracts that was signed in the presence of then Chinese Premier Wen Jianbao when he visited MalacaƱang in January 2007.

The 18 contracts covered agriculture and fisheries research, the provision of facilities for fishery and agriculture, the investment of Chinese entities in local agribusiness, and other trade-related matters. This was signed during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Whatever happened to this MOU and is it operational until now?

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The Mail Man

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www.agricultureph.com - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

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