During the food crisis early this year, we batted for one common sense solution, that is, to plant more food crops to increase supply and stabilize the spiraling price increases.
The national government responded with a number of measures to address the crisis including massive subsidies and reviving the so-called “corporate farming” to entice big corporations – just like during martial law – to help in food production. Among those that responded was the San Miguel – Kuok Group combine which promised to put in $1 billion for the “Feeding our Future” program.
The Department of Agriculture is now identifying at least 1 million hectares for this project.
Davao city is the largest city in the country with over 244,000 hectares. Only about 10 percent of this vast land, however, is urban and urbanizing; the rest are forestal and agricultural. In the case of the forestal areas, much is actually grassy lands not yet classified as alienable and disposable. Thus, they lie idle and unproductive. Much of these lands are in Paquibato and Marilog Districts.
Marriz Agbon, who heads this national government program, once edited a local paper here and knows the city’s many potentials.
Unfortunately, Davao city s not in the priority list of areas for the “Feeding our Future” program. It is truly a waste of our vast land resources, our abundant water supply and excellent weather not to be included in this food production program.
I’m upset that the national government is not using its common sense in implementing this project.