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Statement of the Asia Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty

We, the members of the Asia Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty, on the occasion of the Regional Meeting and Workshop on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture Issues in Quezon City, Philippines, on September 26-28, 2011,

Express our collective position that the Food Crisis of 2008, was a food price crisis brought about by the irresponsible actions and greed of a few. The 2008 crisis was not an isolated phenomenon confined to a few countries or a region, but a generalized crisis which affected the whole world.

The swift rise and fall of prices of key agricultural food commodities during this period cannot be explained by simple supply and demand fundamentals alone.

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A CALL TO ACTION AGAINST RICE SMUGGLING IN SUPPORT OF MINDANAO SMALL FARMERS


As staple food among Filipinos, rice is as valuable as life itself. Thus, it is essentially a political commodity!


In commemoration of World Food Day 2012, we are calling on the government to present a concrete plan of action on its rice self-sufficiency program that would ensure the following: 1) widened access to agricultural support services (rural credit, irrigation, farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities); 2) effective climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies; 3) food security of small producers; and 4) secured ownership and control of land.

 

While we support the tuwid na daan efforts of this administration, we strongly believe that much is needed to seriously attain rice self-sufficiency in the country, particularly in addressing key issues on rice production. Thus, we urge all concerned government agencies and local government units to improve and integrate its structured interventions in support of small farmers, particularly in Mindanao, that they can sustainably increase and improve rice yield and quality. In doing so, the Philippines could compete with major rice producing countries in Asia, and in the process, reduce if not eradicate rice smuggling.
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