Sec. Manny Piñol Dreams in 2017 is to Empower Farmers & Fishermen for Them Not Be Exploited


The Department of Agriculture (DA) under the leadership of Sec. Manny Piñol shared his cherished dream in the year 2017 as head of the agency, his dream is for an empowered Filipino farmers and fishermen for them not to be exploited by unscrupulous middlemen and traders and by usurious lenders.


In the latest post of Sec. Piñol on Facebook he admitted that he also felt tired as the head of DA but he loved every minute of his work and that is what keeps him going.

The former North Cotabato Governor stated that he feel like a child endlessly thrilled by the thought that at long last he could be an instrument to realize the dreams of the lowly farmers and fisher folks of a better life when they are awarded fairly for their labor.

Sec. Piñol noted his heart pumps furiously every time he remember how poor farmers he met during his youth felt so sad and pained when their produce was bought at a very low price during peak harvest season. In his term as DA Secretary under Pres. Duterte, one of his priority is to empower farmers and fishermen.

Here's the Complete Statement of DA Sec. Manny Piñol:

New Year's Wish
MY CHERISHED DREAM IN YEAR 2017:
EMPOWERED FARMERS, FISHERMEN

By Manny Piñol

People have been asking me why I do not seem to get tired moving around the country endlessly and engaging farmers and fishermen in dialogues and discovering what could be done to produce more food for the country and address pervasive rural poverty.

I will be lying if I say I don't get tired. I am no longer young. At 63, the body starts to feel the rigours of the long travels and the long days which start at 3 a.m.

But I love every minute of my work and that is what keeps me going.

I feel like a child endlessly thrilled by the thought that at long last I could be an instrument to realise the dreams of the lowly farmers and fisher folks of a better life when they are rewarded fairly for their labor.

My heart pumps furiously every time I remember how poor farmers I met in my youth felt so sad and pained when their produce was bought at a very low price during peak harvest season.

I feel so much pain whenever I see fishermen's wives and children selling fish to motorists passing by along the highway.

As I face 2017, I have made my bucket list of the things I would like to do as Secretary of Agriculture.

On top of that list is my wish that the country's farmers and fishermen are empowered so that they will no longer be exploited by unscrupulous middlemen and traders and by usurious lenders.

The Department of Agriculture will work closely with the Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA) to organise a national farmers' and fishermen's cooperative which would not only provide production support to its members but also handle the financing and marketing of their products.
This is where the farmers and fisher folks are very weak and they have always been at the mercy of the middlemen and traders.

Government cannot forever provide support and subsidy.

The National Food Authority (NFA), for example, in spite of its mandate of providing support price to the farmers grains produce, cannot stabilise the prices of rice and corn.

The fishing industry is losing 40% of its catch to spoilage because of the lack of post harvest infrastructure and a distribution system which would ensure that fish is sold at a low price even in the remotest areas of the country.

While the lowly Tamban is sold for only P25 per kilo in Surigao del Sur, many upland farmers in many interior areas of the country could barely taste fish simply because there is no supply reaching them.

A well-organised farmers' cooperative could handle the processing and marketing of the farmers' produce and deal directly with the market.

A strong fishermen's cooperative could establish a delivery and distribution network to ensure that the fish catch would reach even the remotest areas of the country.

When this is done, there would be greater productivity in both the farming and fishing sector because a decent income from their hard work is the best motivation for the farmers and fishermen to produce more.

I am actually looking at the South Korean model, the NongHyup, in envisioning a national farmers' and fishermen's cooperative.

The NongHyup, which is the 9th largest cooperative in the world, basically controls South Korean agriculture and fisheries.

I would be the happiest farmer's grandson if before the end of the term of President Rody Duterte, farmers and fishermen in the country are able to produce, finance and market their own products, free from the control and manipulation of traders and middlemen.

This is not going to come easy.

Big business interests will stand in the way but I believe that with the support of President Duterte, this can be realised.

This is the fulfilment of President Duterte's commitment of "Available and Affordable Food" for the Filipino people.

This is my wish for 2017 and beyond.

Happy New Year and may God bless us all.
#Changeishere! #PresRodyCares! #DuterteDelivers!

Source: DA Sec. Manny Piñol


Sec. Manny Piñol Dreams in 2017 is to Empower Farmers & Fishermen for Them Not Be Exploited Sec. Manny Piñol Dreams in 2017 is to Empower Farmers & Fishermen for Them Not Be Exploited Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 1/02/2017 Rating: 5

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