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Fisheries stakeholders raise issues about Sorsogon waters

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That is the one-word description for the state of Sorsogon waters as seen by the stakeholders themselves during the 1st Provincial Fisheries Summit held on July 29-30, 2015 at the Audio Visual Hall of the Sorsogon State College Sorsogon City Campus.

The province of Sorsogon has a coastline of 553.3 kilometers around 13 municipalities and 1 city, with only the town of Irosin as landlocked.  It is bounded by 5 fishing grounds:  the Pacific Ocean and Albay Gulf (Pacific Coast) covering the towns of Prieto Diaz, Gubat, Barcelona, Bulusan, Sta. Magdalena, Matnog and part of Bacon District of Sorsogon City; the BuriasPass and Ticao Pass covering the municipalities of Pilar, Donsol, and Bulan; and Sorsogon Bay which includes the municipalities of Casiguran, Juban, Magallanes, and Castilla and the East and West Districts of Sorsogon City.


WFD 2014 Position Paper- PHILS

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The Philippine agrariancommunity which continues to recover from the impact of severe natural disasters urges the Philippine government to recognize and develop the full potential of family farming in achieving national food security in the midst of surging rice importation and food prices.
The theme of World Food Day on October 16, 2014 which is "Family Farming- Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth" is a strong pronouncement to promote and protect Filipino family farmers who are smallholders but the most efficient movers in solving the food crisis while maintaining ecological balance.


Upholding family farming takes off from the current status of Philippine agriculture that urgently requires rebalancing and rebuilding from its already damaged state given the years of neglect on this sector. Rural incomes especially of the most impoverished sectors of farmers and fisherfolks remain insufficient for food and other basic necessities. With the escalating rice prices, realizing food security continues to be a huge challenge for the government as high rice prices drive up food inflation.


Rice crisis may intensify under ASEAN Integration 2015

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Given the continued rice importation and the problem of rice cartel in the Philippines, the rice crisis may intensify as the country moves towards the ASEAN Economic Integration by 2015. 

While the country recorded its highest rice production in 2013 at 18.4 million MT, this represented only about 96% self-sufficiency, consequently compelling the government to procure from the international market to supply its shortfall, according to ArzeGlipo, executive director of the Integrated Rural Development Foundation  (IRDF).

“The Philippine agriculture sector which experiences low productivity, limited mechanization, weak infrastructures such as irrigation systems, low research and development and the propagation of science and technology knowledge, poor and underdeveloped agri-processing cannot compete with its Southeast Asian neighbors”, said Dr. ReneOfreneo, former labor undersecretary and dean of the University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations.


Group welcomes NFA plan to buy more rice from farmers

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MANILA – An alliance of food security advocates welcomed the announcement of National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Lito Banayo that the agency will buy more rice from farmers this year despite budget cuts. However, they urged NFA to procure palay (unmilled rice) from farmers on time and at a better price.

The Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) said Tuesday that small rice farmers badly need a good price for their harvest after a series of calamities that struck them since typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, the drought last year and the floods early this year.


GMOs, Not on Our Platter!

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“GMOs, not on our platter!” is a call that has been pushed by Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), together with the different organizations advocating food security, nutrition and safety. This is especially relevant as the global community celebrates World Food Day. In the Philippines, the current field-testing of golden rice without exhaustive health and environmental impact assessment has alarmed farmers’ and consumers’ groups and has raised concerns about the contamination of the country’s food system by health risk food crops.


Golden rice is a genetically-engineered rice with the capability to produce beta carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A using a bacterium (Erwinia uredovora), daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), and corn (Zea mays). It is called Golden Rice (GR) because of its characteristic orange/yellowish color, the color of carotenoids. PhilRice and IRRI spearheaded this project.


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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.

Food security advocates warn against brewing unrest from ranks of the hungry

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The Aquino administration faces a backlash from the growing ranks of the hungry because his government’s penchant for pursuing privatization of vital services and his pro-agribusiness policies are worsening hunger and poverty, a nationwide coalition of grassroots food sovereignty advocates warned Wednesday.


In a protest action near the Malacanang Palace, the Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) said that genuine food security begins with pro-poor food and agriculture policies.

Aquino warned: Poverty, hunger trigger upheavals

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FOOD security advocates warned President Aquino against the brewing unrest among the growing number of poor who are experiencing involuntary hunger.

Task Force Food Sovereignty blamed the privatization of vital services and the Aquino administration’s pro-agribusiness policies.

Members of TFFS stormed Malacanang to press for genuine food security, which should begin with a pro-poor food and agriculture policies, Arze Glippo, TFFS lead convener said.

According to Glippo, the Aquino administration continues to espouse market-driven and corporate-friendly agriculture policies which place profit-making above the goal of providing food for all.


Aquino’s agri policies ‘corporate-biased and anti-farmer’: TFFS

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Manila, Philippines – A few days before the President Benigno S. Aquino III’’s third State of the Nation Address, a broad network of farmer organizations and food security advocates criticized the administration’s agriculture policies as “corporate-biased and anti-farmer.”


The Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) claimed that the Aquino administration’s aggressive push to open up the countryside to private investment will lead to deepening corporate control of agriculture and further marginalization of small farmers and fisherfolk who make up the bulk of the rural poor.


Group blasts confusing Noynoy tack on NFA

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nfa1The Daily Tribune


The Aquino administration can’t seem to get its act together on the fate of the National Food Administration (NFA) as it gives conflicting statements amid the overpriced rice importation controversy during the term of former President Arroyo, a network of food security advocates said.

The Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) said President Aquino should declare once and for all his administration’s plan for NFA.

The group, in a statement, said the Aquino government is confusing the public on the fate of the agency with conflicting statements.


Unfazed by budget cut, NFA to buy more rice from farmers

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nfaIts P5.5-billion budget cut this year has not stopped the National Food Authority (NFA) from planning to buy from farmers more rice in 2011 than the target it set in the previous year.

With NFA’s budget down to P2.5 billion from P8 billion in 2010, NFA administrator Lito Banayo over the weekend said the agency targets to buy as much as 870,000 metric tons (MT) of palay or unmilled rice from farmers.

The NFA buys unmilled rice from farmers at P17 — which, Banayo told GMA News on Tuesday, is way above the break-even price of P10.50 — to keep the abusive private sector at bay.

For 2010, the NFA planned to buy less at 612,000 MT, according to a report in September that year. 

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