Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Government to Boost PH Rubber Industry

The Philippine rubber industry is getting help from the government in order to make it a global industry player.

Rubber production I the agricultural sector in the Philippines lags way behind its neighbors such as Indonesia and Thailand which accounts for 25% – 34%  of world rubber production.

Possessing almost the same geographical features as those two countries mentioned above, the Philippines can also produce rubber for industrial and commercial use in the world.

According to Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the Philippine rubber agricultural industry is part of re-orienting and reformatting Philippine agriculture. Rubber can be grown in areas where the traditional crops such as rice and other fruit trees find inhospitable due to lack of water and soil erosion. This will give Filipino farmers an alternative that has vast promise in productivity and financial returns.

“The agricultural areas I’ve visited suffer from the same problems: soil erosion and landslides. These are indications of poor agricultural planning—where farmers are planting crops where we should be planting rubber trees,” DA Sec. Piñol said.

Currently, there are 55,000 small farmers in the Philippine rubber industry and these are located mainly in Mindanao.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also going to be active in enhancing the growth of this agricultural sector.  “This industry is critical in helping achieve President Duterte’s vision of real inclusive growth since the rubber production sector involves over 55,000 small farmers/growers,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez disclosed.

The gaps between local rubber farmers and opportunities present will be addressed by the DTI.  Investors will be brought in by DTI in rubber processing and rubber-based products such as tire companies and then links between the farmers and suppliers will be forged by DTI.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Use Technology in Agriculture – Experts

Currently, the average age of the Filipino farmer is between 57 – 59 years old. Clearly, there is not enough new blood entering agriculture as a profession. This is a bleak image of our country’s agriculture industry and national food security.

Profitability, intensive labor and sustainability give off negative indicators to many Filipinos. But experts at the recently held Innovative Olympics 2018 cited that technology can be and is the answer to these concerns. 

“This sad reality results in our young people’s disenchantment of pursuing a career in agriculture,” said East-West Seeds Philippines general manager Henk Hermans. Farmers are the second poorest sector in the country he also added.

The resistance of farmers in using technology also adds to the decline of agriculture and crop yields. Also, the continuation of outdated farming methods holds back productivity.

The Innovation Olympics aims to make agriculture attractive to the youth by showcasing technology and new farming techniques backed up by results of higher output and increased revenues.

By appealing to students and youth with various backgrounds that sustainable solutions can be made on agriculture, making farming a profession will be fulfilling for them especially if technology is utilized.


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