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Angara urges gov’t: Invest in agriculture


Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara has urged the Duterte government to consider investing heavily in the agriculture sector if it wants the country’s economic growth more inclusive or felt by a larger population.

Angara said that aside from infrastructure development, the Philippines needs nothing short of an “agricultural revolution” which the Duterte administration can spearhead alongside its “Build, Build, Build” initiative.

“Just as we hope to enter a golden age of infrastructure, we should aim to reach an equivalent ‘Golden Age of Agriculture’,” Angara said at the 2018 National Conference and Agri-Fishery Research and Development Festival in Sorsogon City.

“Where there’s Build, Build, Build, there should also be a ‘Grow, Grow, Grow,’ ‘Plant, Plant, Plant,’ or even ‘Fish, Fish, Fish,’” he added.

An agricultural revolution, he said, is necessary to help revive the country’s ailing agriculture sector, considering that 60 percent of poor Filipinos work there.

“We may be exhibiting among the fastest growth rates in the world today, but such growth would be for nothing if it doesn’t reach our farmers and fisher folk,” he said. “Isipin nalang natin, bakit kasama pa rin ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa mga pinakamahirap na sektor? Bagaman pagkain ang kanilang hanapbuhay, marami pa rin sa kanila ang nagugutom,” Angara said.

“Kaya marami sa kanila ang nagkakasakit, at karamihan sa kanilang mga anak ay hindi nakapag-aaral o kaya naman ay hirap maghanap ng trabaho,” he said.

The conference was hosted by the Fulbright-Philippine Agriculture Alumni Association Inc., which considers the senator’s father, the late Senate President Edgardo J. Angara, as the father of the Fulbright-Philippine Agriculture Program.