Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WB Report: The Key to Mindanao Agri Growth: Connectivity

Agriculture in Mindanao

The infrastructure needed to link farm produce to markets in Mindanao has always been the bane of its development. Rich in natural resources, the infrastructure needed for harnessing its potential has been sorely lacking.

Way back in the Commonwealth era, the infrastructure plan was a combination of roads and railways. Unfortunately, WWII occurred and the resources needed for infrastructure development was siphoned off to rebuilding the country after the war.

Succeeding administrations have failed to address the situation and the current infrastructure in Mindanao has hampered its growth.

The World Bank in its Philippine Economic update emphasized the need to address the limited connectivity between the farmers to the markets. This will not only spur domestic development but also tap the foreign market potential for Mindanao’s agricultural products.

“Farmers are disconnected or misconnected with technical service providers, agro-enterprises, markets, and consumers, a problem that has multiple consequences. Many roads are in bad condition or congested, resulting in rejected agricultural produce, especially perishable commodities like bananas and other fruits and vegetables,” the World Bank report stated.

A seamless logistic network from farm to markets will require investments in infrastructures from the village to major roads. This will also induce more competition in the domestic shipping industry and with the new cabotage laws, the transport via domestic shipping will add to the fast and efficient conveyance of trade and merchandise. Port processes for import and export must also be streamlined.

“Lowering logistics costs would significantly benefit Mindanao’s agriculture value chains. An efficient logistics system is essential if Mindanao’s potential of becoming a global supplier of basic and value-added produce is to be realized,” the report noted.

The World Bank said there is an opportunity to expand the production of exportable agriculture products: aquatic, coffee and coconut products.

This involves linking farmers more closely with enterprises, as it is primarily agribusinesses that have the opportunity to differentiate or diversify product lines,” it added.

Increased productivity will reduce the prices of food and other commodities and improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.

About the Author

The Mail Man

Author & Editor - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

Post a Comment


Copyright © 2015 Agriculture Philippines ™ is a registered trademark.

Designed by Templateism . Hosted on Blogger Platform.