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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.

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

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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.
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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.
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'Distribute Fort Magsaysay land to farmers'

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MANILA, Philippines - Farmers from Dingalan, Aurora is asking President Aquino to amend Presidential Proclamation (PP) 237 to enable the distribution of more than 4,000 hectares of land within the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) to more than 800 farmer-beneficiaries.

PP 237 signed by the late former President Ramon Magsaysay on Dec. 18, 1955 gives the FMMR to the Philippine Army. It is the current headquarters of the 7th Infantry Division. The military reservation spans the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Aurora.

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Farmers seek distribution of Fort Magsaysay land

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farmers-seekSOME 100 farmers from Dingalan, Aurora, on Thursday trooped to Malacañang to ask for the distribution of a portion of the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) to landless farmers through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPer).

They appealed to President Aquino to amend Presidential Proclamation (PP) 237 signed by President Ramon Magsaysay on December 18, 1955, which created and transferred ownership of the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation to the Army.

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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.

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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.

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Group hits ADB's water projects

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MANILA, Philippines – On the third day of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors here Friday, farmer members of the Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) staged a protest action near the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), site of the gathering, condemning the Bank's water-related projects as these "have pushed smallholder farmers to deeper poverty and indebtedness."

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Group blasts confusing Noynoy tack on NFA

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nfa1The Daily Tribune

http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110123hed4.html

01/23/2011

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.

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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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