Re-energizing Philippine Agriculture
for the ASEAN Economic Integration
Director General, ICRISAT
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015
Free trade + effective policies =
promise of inclusive growth and development
Is Philippine agriculture ready for AEC?
The Philippine agriculture scenario
GDP contribution of agriculture
Net food exporter to importer since late 1980s
Important to food security and economy
Main source of domestic foods
Employs 11.8 million or 35.1% of total workforce
Poverty in rural areas
11% of GDP in 2012
From 20 to 30% in last two decades
Half of 100 M live in rural areas
80% of country’s poor
Dominated by smallholder
Lack of access to markets, credits,
Poor infrastructure
Performance of Philippine agriculture
Daunting task – producing more food
from less land and water
Imports as alternative food sources
World price spikes jeopardize food security
Threatens livelihoods of smallholder
Rice production serves to
meet food security goal
Rice, one-third of harvested area (2011)
Followed by coconut and corn; far behind, banana
and sugarcane
Crops account for 60% of agricultural GVA
Shift to “high value” crops crucial
Trade in agricultural commodities
Exports growing,
imports growing
Imports, mostly
driven by rice,
soared in 2008
95% self-sufficient in
rice (2011)
Top export earner,
coconut oil (26%)
100% selfsufficient in corn
AEC regional integration pillars
Challenges under AEC (1)
Single market and production base pillar
Food, agriculture and forestry are priority sectors
Removal of tariffs to boost agricultural trade
of quality
systems for
food safety
Review of
progress in meeting commitments under AEC
45.7% in AEC scorecard; average ASEAN score is 67.5 %
World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report:
Philippines’ rank dropped from 141 in 2009 to 144 in
Challenges under AEC (2)
Factors limiting gains from globalization
Current strategy highly conservative
Low investments in infrastructure;
Lack of political will to implement a sustained and credible
fiscal reform program;
High transaction costs; and
Lack of a coherent industrial policy.
Prioritizes traditional crops
Production targets only close domestic supply-demand gap
Policy protects domestic markets with tariffs and nontariff barriers.
“Import substitution agricultural development”
Good governance, committed leaderships with
political will for genuine reform vital
Major opportunities for Phil agriculture (1)
Creating a diversified, dynamic and
competitive agriculture sector
Overcoming non-tariff barriers by modernizing
agricultural enterprises
More capital, better input use and technology
Enhanced regional cooperation in dismantling
non-tariff barriers
Major opportunities for Phil agriculture (2)
Technology transfer and farmers’ access
to knowledge and scientific research
Collaborative R&D among member-countries
Global networks in agricultural S&T
Promoting efficiency and competitiveness in
Freer flow of capital and investments
Expanding production to take advantage of potential
economies of scale
Greater market access and better processing facilities
and roads
Information and transport services
A New
Philippine Agriculture
Roadmap under
the AEC Platform
“Towards an inclusive,
science-based, resilient
and market-oriented
Philippine agriculture”
Are we ready to take advantage of,
or even just survive and compete under
the AEC regime?
 Rice production in 2013 = 18.44 M tons, 8% less
than FSSP target of 20 M tons.
 Resilience in production of food staples to the
impacts of climate change has yet to be addressed.
 Agricultural and food policies must adopt a holistic
Enabling strategies for a holistic,
agriculture-led economic growth
1. Technology development
– Improves yield, quality and value of produce
– Prevents losses and conserve the environment
– Results in improved productivity, profitability, competitiveness
and sustainability
2. Public and private investments
– Physical infrastructure, rural credit, human capital and
institutions essential for agricultural modernization
3. Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD)
– Linking farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to
– Enhanced public-private sector collaboration
4. Reforms in governance
– Binding force for enabling strategies for a competitive
agricultural sector
Focus areas under an AEC regime (1)
1. Balance between rice self-sufficiency and crop
– Self-sufficiency in rice production along with diversifying into
high-value crops with comparative advantage
2. Sustainable resource management
– Land use plan, soil and commodity mapping, water
3. Linking farmers to markets (IMOD)
– Giving farmers access to innovations designed for the poor, to
help them connect to markets
– Building their own resilience rather than creates dependency
IMOD: A new approach
Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD)
Climate change adaptation
for smallholder, rainfed agriculture
Focus areas under an AEC regime (2)
4. Developing climate-smart agriculture
– Increasing stocks of livelihood capital and biophysical
resilience of the system
5. GAP, sanitary and phytosanitary standards,
and HACCP compliance
– Harmonize standards; develop exporters’ capability to
conform to SPS and NTBs
6. Innovative use of ICT in knowledge and information
– Leveraging the power of
ICT to support smallholders
in processing, marketing
and realizing market
Focus areas under an AEC regime (3)
7. Increase in public investment to attract
private sector participation
– More public investment to attract more flow
of private capital to ensure sustainable
economic growth by increased volumes of
8. Enhanced role of youth in agriculture
– Promoting profitable and modern
productivity augmenting livelihood projects
– Education system to address agri-innovations,
entrepreneurship and agri-business, etc.
9. Championing appropriate policies
– Appropriate laws, policies, rules and
regulations to make public institutions work
and to encourage broader stakeholder
Sustainable and inclusive growth
of smallholder agriculture
Investments in smallholder agriculture
Can lift people from poverty and food insecurity
Under AEC, must become active players in the supply chain
Smallholder farming can transform rural landscape
A new and sustainable agricultural revolution
Needs policy environment to support and nurture them
Can become commercially-oriented and profitable farming
Food security for all
 24% of families (4.3 million households)
are hungry due to rising food prices
 How do we feed the projected 150 million Filipinos by
 Under the AEC, food security through regional trade
and cross country cooperation to raise productivity
must be our top priority.
A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World
(National Geographic Magazine)
Step 1: Freeze agriculture’s footprint
Step 2: Grow more on farms we’ve got
Step 3: Use resources more efficiently
A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World
(National Geographic Magazine)
Step 4: Shift diets
Step 5: Reduce waste
Feeding the hungry is not a need,
but a moral imperative.
We have to make Philippine
agriculture competitive.
Thank you!
ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium

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