Lawmaker promotes backyard farming amid rising food prices

November 3, 2011 9:45 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 3 – Amidst reports of the rising food prices and survey about increasing rate of hunger, Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan urged on Thursday the Filipinos especially those in the rural areas to go back to ‘backyard’ farming.

Pangilinan also called on the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to extend assistance in the promotion of ‘backyard’ farming under the government’s “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” otherwise known as Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.

"We need more people, especially the younger generation, to go back to farming in order to meet our food security goals. And government needs to pump in a lot of support for this sector in order for us to turn the tide around and be self-sufficient instead of relying on food imports. It's the only way for an agricultural country like ours,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture, made his suggestions after the Social Weather Station (SWS) had reported that 4.3 million families have gone hungry in the past quarter and that "overall hunger" has risen sharply in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Pangilinan earlier noted that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) commented that “the world may have already entered a new era where persistently high food prices are the 'New Normal.”

"If rising prices are the 'new normal,' then we cannot let rising hunger be part of this 'new normal.' It is unacceptable that people go on the entire day without any food to eat. We need to exhaust all means to find a creative solution," he said.

Pangilinan said the Philippines will become the Crippled Man of Asia, if the government would not help its people get out of hunger and help to be more productive.

"We can dream of modernization, manufacturing, and technology all we want, but unless we are able to get our people out of hunger and into a more productive and sustainable way of living, then we won't be able to lift the country out of poverty," he emphasized.

"Self-sufficiency as a nation starts with self-sufficiency as a family, and it could very well start in our own backyards," Pangilinan added.(PNA)

LDV/jfm

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