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Peace talks a boon to agrarian sector

Agrarian reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano believes the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) could benefit the agrarian sector.

The fourth round of talks was set to start yesterday and is set to end on April 6 in Noordwijk in the Netherlands.

“Peace talks would ensure the implementation of genuine land reform as both panels have agreed on the significance of furthering the discussion on agrarian reform and rural development in crafting the draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER),” Mariano said.

Peasant struggle was at the forefront of the first three rounds of negotiations after both panels recognized free land distribution as the key to address the roots of armed conflict in the countryside.

“Landlessness remains the main cause of farmers’ suffering and only pro-people policies on genuine agrarian reform would help us achieve national and agricultural industrialization,” Mariano added.

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