Secretary Piñol Fulfills Dreams of "Food Highway in the Sky" Connecting Farmers & Fishermen to Markets


One of the country's most prominent and active Cabinet Member of the Duterte Administration, Secretary Manny Piñol fulfilled his dreams of "Food Highway in the Sky" which aims to connect farmers and fishermen to the intended markets in major cities across the country.


According to Sec. Manny as early as the days when he was Governor of North Cotabato, he had envisioned a program which he called the Philippine Food Skyway, a concept on food positioning and distribution which took into consideration the reality that we are country of 7,500 islands connected only by old and unreliable sea vessels and passenger planes.

The DA Secretary believed that the country's food supply problem in the country is not because we do not produce enough but because the farmers and fishermen could not bring their produce to the market and earn a fair income for their work.



Manny Piñol proposed the concept before during the Aquino administration but his efforts were in vain but under the Duterte administration all is going well and right now his dream of a Highway in the Sky could come true slowly but surely.

Here's the Complete Statement of Secretary Manny Piñol:

Connecting the islands!

FOOD 'HIGHWAY' IN THE SKY,
A 'SILLY' DREAM COME TRUE

By Manny Piñol

As early as the days when I was Governor of North Cotabato, I had envisioned a program which I called the Philippine Food Skyway, a concept on food positioning and distribution which took into consideration the reality that we are a country of 7,500 islands connected only by old and unreliable sea vessels and mainly passenger planes.

I have always believed that our food supply problem in the country is not because we do not produce enough but because the farmers and fishermen could not bring their produce to the market and earn a fair income for their work.

The concept proposed the establishment of feeder airports in key food production areas of the country and the involvement of the private sector in providing cargo planes to ferry perishable goods to the population centers.



Fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and even meat could be easily transported using cargo planes.

Imagine how much fish could be shipped from Sulu and Tawitawi, how much fruits during the season could be flown out of Central Mindanao and the Davao Provinces and how much vegetables could be brought to the markets of Cebu and Metro Manila on a daily basis?

When farmers and fishermen know that they have a market for their produce and they profit from their work, they will certainly produce more crops and catch more fish.

Initially, I proposed engaging the Philippine Air Force in the project but the idea was shot down by critics who said that the PAF planes should only be used for military operations.

In fact, some of the fiercest critics derided the concept and called it a "stupid idea," a criticism based mainly on the assumption that transporting food items by aircraft would be very expensive.

I proposed the concept to then President Benigno S. Aquino III, who obviously referred it to then Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

When we met in Davao City later, he thumbed down the idea and said that the concept would result in losses to government.



I did not give up on the idea and when President Rody Duterte appointed me Secretary of Agriculture, I continued to explore on the possibility of implementing the project.

Many scoffed at the proposal but businessman Archibald Po, who owns Lion Air and a personal friend of President Duterte, said he would help me realize the project.

Two weeks ago, Archie informed me that some of his friends in the air cargo industry have acquired two Boeing 727 Cargo Planes and that they were working on the numbers to determine if these could be used for local hauls.

With a maximum capacity of 24-metric tons, the group is looking at a P40 to P50 per kilo rate for transport.

That could appear to be high but consider this: Carrots are sold for over P200 in Metro Manila now.

In Talakag, Bukidnon, traders buy the farmers Carrots at P10 per kilo during peak harvest season; Brocolli and Cauliflower P15 per kilo; Cabbage P12 per kilo; Lettuce P20 per kilo.

In Tawitawi and Sulu, fish is sold by "tumpok" which weighs over 1 kilo for less than P100.

So, even if you add another P50 per kilo for transport and handling, Carrots could still be sold in the big cities for no more than P100.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 20, one of the B-727 Cargo Planes will pick up vegetables from Bukidnon from the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.



This will be the maiden flight and we will use this to validate whether the project is workable.

I am confident the numbers will prove me right and the long-dreamed Philippine Food Skyway will be finally realized.

Soon, fresh fish from Tawitawi, Lettuce from Bukidnon, eggplants from South Cotabato and fruits from Davao will be in the dining table of families in Metro Manila.

This will be the start of the realization of President Duterte's commitment to ensure that there is available and affordable food for the people.

#KungGustoMaramingParaan!
#LinkingFarmsToMarket!
#MagtrabahoHwagPuroReklamo!

(These photos show one of the two Boeing 727 Cargo Planes which I inspected yesterday in Clark International Airport.)







Source: Sec. Manny FB Page


Secretary Piñol Fulfills Dreams of "Food Highway in the Sky" Connecting Farmers & Fishermen to Markets Secretary Piñol Fulfills Dreams of "Food Highway in the Sky" Connecting Farmers & Fishermen to Markets Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 9/19/2018 Rating: 5

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