Challenges facing Philippines’ food security programs have become more evident in recent years. Salvador Catelo of College of Economics and Management, The University of Los Banos explained challenges and opportunities faced by Philippines to achieve food security.
Between 2012 and 2010, there has been 5 million population increase or 208,000 newborn each month! In addition, income per capita continues to grow. Rice consumption increases by 1.43 per cent per annum between 2000 and 2009 and 5.08 per cent per year increase in consumption of poultry meat. In addition to increase production demand, there has also been increasing demand for safer, healthier and better quality food. It is expected that there will be a significant change in food baskets.
Food staples sufficiency program 2011-2016 has been to enhance agricultural productivity and global competitiveness. Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of AFMA of 1997 defined broad strategies for and basic principles of rational use of resources, poverty alleviation, and social equity, global competitiveness as well as food security.
Whilst the contribution of agriculture to GDP continues to decline in Philippines, its role in poverty alleviation especially in rural areas is still significant. Productivity, however, has been growing at a slow rate despite various government support schemes although sectoral variations exist.
In general, Philippines is a net agricultural importer. The main issue is whether the world can produce enough food, at reasonable prices and provide the poor access to food, and not destroy the environment in the process?
*The summary was written by Risti Permani (University of Adelaide) and may be subject to her interpretation of the presented materials.