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Coconut farmers are poorest agri people

Coconut farmers are now the poorest people in the agriculture sector, much poorer than when they were 30 years ago.  This was the assessment of Danny Carranza, a coconut farmer and member the Kilusan Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (Katarungan). (MB FILE, Keith Bacongco) Carranza blamed the coconut farmers’ poverty on the low copra prices, inability to intercrop and modernize, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which isolates some of them who are living in far-flung areas.                “If you’re going to compare, we are much poorer now than we were back in 1990,” said Carranza. Carranza said the “crisis in coconut” that started in the 1990s was never resolved, but even worsened especially when farmers failed to diversify and intercrop before copra prices, dictated by world prices, crashed in 2019 and in the previous years.              “The price of copra is improving, reaching P16/kg from P8/kg last year, but that is still not enough,” Carranza said, adding that farmers’ income from a hectare of coconut plantation does not reach P10,000 anymore.            At present, about 95 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of coconut farms in the Philippines are meant to produce copra, which is the material for coconut oil manufacturing.  But with the collapse of the prices of coconut oil in the world market over the last two years, prices of copra have also dropped plunging farmers into deeper poverty. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), prices of copra at farmgate as of October 15 stood at P21.86/kg, which is higher compared to P14.55/kg price level during the same day last year.           But Carranza said that it normally takes three to four years for coconut farmers to recover when a typhoon hits their plantation because coconut trees don’t recover fast. Several typhoons have devastated coconut trees lately.  “Farmers’ income is dictated by world prices, they don’t have enough funds to modernize their industry, and the government has failed to support them in the diversification of their coconut plantations,” Carranza said.  “Then things got worse because of climate change. And then, because of lockdown, a lot of farmers who live in far-flung areas were isolated and couldn’t deliver their produce,” he added.   In 2018, farmers working in coconut farms only received a daily nominal wage rate of P264, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.   To alleviate the current situation of coconut farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that it will soon distribute a P5,000 worth of assistance to coconut farmers, which will be withdrawn from the agency’s P24-billion stimulus package granted under ‘Bayanihan 2’. The problem, according to Carranza, is that the assistance may only benefit farmers who own 1 hectare of coconut plantations or less. The PCA is also setting aside a portion of its budget to finance on-farm and off-farm livelihood projects for coconut farmers such as intercropping and livestock. Meanwhile, Pambansang Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP) Chairman Eduardo Mora said the legal team of Senator Bong Go pledged to help coconut farmers push for provisions that they want to be included in the Coco Levy Act, the proposed law that will pave the way for the release of the P100-billion coco levy fund.           “It was the office of Senator Bong Go that informed us that the senate version of Coco Levy Act was already passed in third and final reading. But his legal team also assured to help us in the congress version of the law, in bicameral, and in the drafting of the IRR [implementing rules and regulation] of the law,” Mora told Business Bulletin.         Mora’s group, which represents more than a hundred thousand coconut farmers in the country, has been calling for increased farmers’ representation in the planned coconut trust fund management committee.         Coconut farmers also don’t want the funds to be handled by PCA, Mora said.         Business Bulletin already sought for Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s reaction regarding the farmers’ opposition of the Coco Levy Act, but he hasn’t responded yet. .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource: abscbn abscbnOct 24th, 2020

Opportunity to reform market economy

The crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic provides a singular opportunity to significantly reform the so-called free market economy that has been embraced by countries of different political shades and persuasions, from socialist China to capitalist America.  Although it cannot be denied that the experiment with market-oriented economic policies by China has resulted in the liberation from dehumanizing poverty of hundreds of millions of people over the last 20  to 30 years, there continues to be scandalous disparity of income and wealth among those who have benefited from these reforms and those who have been left behind.  The massive unemployment that has been caused by the lockdowns of  economies all over the world has worsened the inequity in the distribution of income even in the most developed countries of Europe and elsewhere. The human sufferings that we are witnessing during the worst global economic crisis in 150 year  should bring world leaders to finally come to their senses and listen to what Pope Francis has been saying about   the limitations of the free market economy in respecting the dignity of each human person and in pursuing the common good of society. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis clearly states that “the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies. At times, however, they seem to be a mere addendum imported from without in order to fill out a political discourse lacking in perspectives or plans for true and integral development.”  The Holy Father points out that  growth in social justice “requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth.”  it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms, and processes especially geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment, and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”  In the publication “This Economy Kills,” authors Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis, enumerate the types of leaders who are needed for authentic human development in both developed and emerging markets.  According to them, we need “men and women who look to the future, who are committed to pursue the common  good and whose goal is not just the next election campaign.  It requires men and women who not only look at the spread and stock market indices as indicators of the health of a country but inquire whether the younger generations have a job, a future, and hope; whether children have kindergartens and schools that can educate them by introducing them to reality; whether couples have the opportunity to buy a house; whether there are effective welfare programs available for the elderly; and whether those who still bet on the future by putting children into the world are justly taxed, rather than penalized.  It requires men and women who are engaged in politics and work in institutions without corrupting themselves or letting others corrupt them, even managing perhaps to revive a minimum of esteem (which has never been so in decline) for that ‘highest form of charity’—that is, politics—in as much as it is exclusively committed to the common good and to the real lives of people, with special attention   and dedication to those in difficulty, those left behind, those  who are excluded and should be included.” We have in the above quote a program that should permeate the so-called new normal post-pandemic.  What I have read so far about prognostications concerning the “new normal” are mostly about means, not ends. There is a lot of talk about the digital transformation that all economic sectors shall have undergone as a response to the changes in consumer lifestyle and business practices brought about by COVID-19. It asserted that digitalization will be a universal practice. Online purchases of practically all types of consumer goods and services; modes of payments; delivery of formal education and all types  of skills training; banking practices; religious services; sports events; forms of entertainment; etc.  These transformations, however,  could occur without addressing the fundamental problem of great disparities in the distribution of income and wealth and may even exacerbate the problem of the poor if, for example, their children are further left behind because they lack the resources to participate in online learning.  Although the means are also important, there should be greater emphasis in the transformation of the ends or objectives of the economic system.  Our leaders should ask themselves how to make the structural changes necessary to reduce mass poverty (which has worsened during the many lockdowns made necessary by the pandemic).  In more concrete terms, the economic system should be geared to providing more nutritious food to the poorest of the poor; better quality education and health care to the bottom 20 percent of the population; free health services to those who cannot afford them;  socialized housing for the homeless; and well paying jobs for the unemployed and underemployed. The new normal should give the highest priority to providing the small farmers with what they need to eke out a decent living by providing them with the necessary infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities, access to credit and other farm support services that have long been denied the Filipino farmers.  I have always maintained that the first cause of dehumanizing poverty in the Philippines is the long-term neglect of rural and agricultural development.  It is not a coincidence that 75 percent of those who fall below the poverty line are in the rural areas. Many of them are the beneficiaries of agrarian reform who, after being provided with one or two hectares of land, were completely abandoned to their own resources.  They are the landless farm workers, the “kaingeros” (slush-and-burn farmers), and the subsistence fisherfolk. Hopefully, the shortage of food during  the pandemic has made it crystal clear that food security should be on top of our economic objectives.  Food security now and in the future can be made possible only by a significant increase in the productivity with which we use our agricultural resources.  To be continued For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Measly budget for coco farmers hit

The proposed 2017 P1.42 billion budget of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) mandated to help the 3.5 million coconut farmers is not enough to help the country’s poorest of the poor......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2016

Peasant leader shot dead in calamity-hit Quezon province

Armando Buisan was a copra farmer and a resident of sitio Luyahan, barangay Magsaysay, General Luna, Quezon. He fought for the rights of coconut farmers in the community for almost three decades and was a well-known leader. The post Peasant leader shot dead in calamity-hit Quezon province appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsNov 16th, 2020

PH eyes modest $31-M export deals at China expo participation

The Philippine delegation is targeting to attract over 1,300 buyers and generate a modest  $31 million worth export deals at the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE),  significantly lower than the $300 million the Philippines realized during last year’s China International Import Exposition (CIIE). Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the apparently lower sales target this year may mean on the spot deals only and may not include post CIIE sales attributed to said expo. “Factoring also that this year is Pandemic year. This is a hybrid show this year, where the goods are displayed but negotiations are done via the online B2B facility.  The target is also based on the reduced pavilion size this year, as well as the projected decrease in the number of buyers attending CIIE this year,” said Lopez. Philippine mango and pili nuts are among the products that will be showcased under the FOODPhilippines Pavilion. Already, DTI’s Export Marketing Board and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) facilitated initial talks with the Philippine delegation and 40 Chinese buyers in a video conferencing. These Chinese buyers are importers, distributors, and retailers. During last year’s CIIE, Philippine exhibitors booked around $300 million in sales at the second CIIE, more than double the $124 million recorded sales in 2018. This year’s third CIIE will be held on Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai. In the B2B session, Chinese buyers expressed interest in working together with Philippine companies that produce fresh fruits and vegetables, chocolates, healthy snacks, seafood, beverages, and condiments.  For this hybrid participation, there will be a mix of physical product presentation in the pavilion that will be facilitated by onsite officers from the DTI trade posts in China and online B2B matching activities between our companies in Manila and the Chinese buyers who will visit the Philippine booth in Shanghai, according to CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan. With the theme “Healthy and Natural,” 40 Philippine companies will exhibit and sample the country’s wide range of tropical fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and nuts, healthy snacks, seafood and marine products, and other premium food selections. The FOODPhilippines pavilion will feature interactive conference pods for the first time in CIIE to enable virtual business-to-business (B2B) activities and video conferencing. In place of actual Philippine exhibitors manning the booths, Philippine Commercial Counsellors will represent the government and exhibitors, promote exhibitor brands and products onsite, and relay all business leads and contacts generated during the show. The participation in CIIE is organized in partnership with the Foreign Trade Services Corps (FTSC) through the Philippine Trade & Investment Centers (PTICs) in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, and the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB). Government partners are the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor in Beijing (DA-OAC-Beijing) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Philippine mango and pili nuts are among the products that will be showcased under the FOODPhilippines Pavilion.project is likewise supported by business associations such as the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).          Leading the FOODPhilippines’ opening in CIIE are representatives from the Philippines and China, namely the Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Philippines’ DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, FFCCCII President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Deputy Director General Yang Weiqun from the Department of Asian Affairs of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). Under the FOODPhilippines delegation, 40 companies that will highlight tropical fruits and vegetables will be Hilas Marketing Corporation, Agrinurture, Inc., Mancoco Food Processing, Inc., Excellent Quality Goods Supply Company, Castillo Import Export Ventures Inc., Doxo International Trading, Magsasakang Progresibo Marketing Cooperative, See’s International Food Mfg, Corp., Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures, Inc., Team Asia Corporation, Eau de Coco, Inc., Eng Seng Food Products, Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Tongsan Industrial Development Corporation, Islandfun Inc., Limketkai Manufacturing Corporation (LMC), KLT Fruits, Inc., Zigmund Enterprise, Business Innovations Gateway, Inc., Sangkutsa Food Products, Inc., AG Grays Farm, Marigold Manufacturing Corporation, and the Federation of People’s Sustainable Development Cooperative. To show its goodwill to the Chinese market, the Philippine delegation will donate healthy products to Food Bank China as part of the launch of the Shanghai Food Bank Project with Liwayway China on November 5. The donation will include 200 packs of banana chips from Excellent Quality Goods Supply Company, 50 tuna packs of premium handline tuna from Century Pacific Food Inc., and bundles of virgin coconut oil (VCO) and various coconut products from Team Asia Corporation. The food donation to the Food Bank China serves as a way of giving back and a token of appreciation to the Chinese community for its continued support towards the Filipino representatives and communities in China, according to Commercial Vice Consul Mario Tani of the PTIC in Shanghai. Meanwhile, healthy snack varieties will be showcased by Magic Melt Foods Inc., Sandria’s Delicious Concept, Vegetari Vegetarian Products, Market Reach International Resources, SL Agritech Corporation, and the Philippine Franchise Association. Tuna and other seafood selections will be presented by Century Pacific Food Inc., Universal Canning, Inc., Fisher Farms, Incorporated, Jam Seafoods, Inc., Phil. Union Frozen Foods, Inc., and Gerabuenas Trading. Likewise, premium food selections will be offered by Global Basic Co., Ltd, Subic Superfood Incorporated, Chocoloco, Inc., Filipinas de Oro de Cacao, Inc., and Seabeth Food Processing......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

2 farmers coops in NegOr receive cash grants from WB

DUMAGUETE CITY, Oct. 31 (PIA) -- Two farmers' cooperatives in Negros Oriental received cash grants from the World Bank (WB) with a combined amount of P6-M to help boost the production of their agri.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Tandag City coco farmers receive P400K cash incentives from PCA

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Oct. 29 (PIA) - Some 39 coconut farmers from the barangays of Buenavista, and Maitom, this city have received a total of P400,000.00 as their cash incentives from the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 29th, 2020

Velasco eyes coco levy fund release soon

House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco wants to pass the coco levy bill before the year ends as a “Christmas gift” to coconut farmers. Velasco said he already discussed this with House Agriculture and Food Committee Chairperson Wilfrido Mark Enverga and that he wanted its passage to be done. “Actually I have talked with the […] The post Velasco eyes coco levy fund release soon appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

Bishop, Makabayan solons oppose House-approved budget

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese San Carlos and co-chairperson of the Church People - Workers Solidarity said that the proposed 2021 national budget “does not guarantee adequate health care especially to the poorest of the poor and those severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.” The post Bishop, Makabayan solons oppose House-approved budget appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

DA urged to prioritize training, promote agri-preneurship

Sen. Bong Go has expressed support for the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) as he commend the agency for its swift response to the needs of Filipino farmers and fisherfolk during the pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Vizcaya coco farmers get cash incentive

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Oct. 13 (PIA) - The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) through the provincial government recently gave cash incentive to coconut farmers in the province.The cash in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 13th, 2020

GOOD NEWS FOR COCONUT FARMERS

The Senate passed on Third and Final Reading last Monday, October 5, Senate Bill No. 1396, the bill creating the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund. It will likewise reconstitute the Philippine Coconut Authority Board by allowing small coconut farmers’ representation therein. The coco levy fund, according to Senator Gordon, has been the object of […] The post GOOD NEWS FOR COCONUT FARMERS appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

Knocking on Goliath’s Doors

Most people love a David vs. Goliath story, cheering when the underdog comes out on top, defying all odds and expectations. In all probability, part of the attraction comes from how seldom it happens. In the consumer goods corporate arena, for example, what we’ll read about more often is how some creative, forward-looking, independent enterprise is gobbled up by a multinational, or big player. So here’s something that’s different, a David calling on the Goliaths to partner with ‘him,’ to forge something collaborative, rather than adversarial or acquisitive. Founders of the Australian-based social enterprise, Thankyou, Daniel and Justine Flynn Thankyou is an Australian social enterprise founded in 2008 by a group of university students. Offering consumer products – personal care and baby product ranges – in Australia and New Zealand, their mission vision and business model is to make and distribute the Thankyou products to help end extreme poverty. As Daniel Flynn, Thankyou co-founder with his wife Justine and Jarryd Burns, reminds us, ‘With $63 trillion spent on consumer goods each year while 736 million people are stuck in extreme poverty (based on WB, OECD data), we believe that business as usual is broken. But we also believe that we, together with people and a partnership with one of the two biggest companies in the world, can change this by funneling the dollars spent on consumer goods into helping extreme poverty.” To achieve this, and drum up attention to their ‘call’ to P&G and Unilever to make and distribute Thankyou products globally; Thankyou has embarked on a global Social Media campaign, No Small Plan. The ‘plan’ is to muster enough global viral support that one of these giants will take notice, and team up with Thankyou. It’s the collective impact of voices around the world that Thankyou is asking for. To show our support, Thankyou is asking us to:– Post a photo or share the campaign social title with the caption ‘I’m in, are you?’ – Tag @proctergamble and @unilever. – Hashtag #thankyoutotheworld. – Share Thankyou’s video to help spread this even further.And you might have begun seeing these ‘I’m in, are you?’ IG posts, wondering what they were all about. A Thankyou-funded water supply & sanitation project in Asia. Thankyou will then set virtual meetings with both consumer goods giants – this to happen at the end of the social campaign. And on November 5th, Thankyou will announce which multinational will be their partner, on one of the largest and most iconic digital billboards of the world, New York City’s Time Square.  It’s a daring gambit by this company that is as much social movement and engaged community, as it is distributor of consumer goods. To date, Thankyou has raised over A$17 million for their impact partners serving the world’s poorest populations. They’ve helped over 857,000 people in over 20 countries, from Asia to Africa; addressing water, health, sanitation, economic development programs, maternal and child health programs in low-income communities. Tackling extreme poverty, the supported programs and impact partners help alleviate the problems of people living on less than $1.90/day. Thankyou doing something for Education in Africa. To date, the verdict is still out on to what extent this COVID pandemic will affect the global economy. Needless to say, we can be certain that the gap between the rich and the poor will only widen, inequalities heightened. Thankyou offers a new business model, where it’s not just the CSR programs that reach out to ameliorate social ills; but that the business model itself gets a much-needed makeover. Make your voice heard if you share in Thankyou’s vision of tomorrow......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Mentoring our agripreneurs

The new normal presents new challenges and opportunities for our local farmers and agri-stakeholders, resulting in a paradigm shift that calls for a change in perspective......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 8th, 2020

Trust fund set for coco farmers

About 3.5 million coconut farmers from 68 coconut- producing provinces will benefit if a proposed measure that seeks to create a trust fund by selling assets bought using the coco levy fund is enacted into law, said Senator Cynthia Villar said Thursday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 1st, 2020

CPP-NPA-NDF atrocities, deceptions denounced

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Sept. 26 (PIA)-Farmers organizations and government entities here denounced the atrocities and deceptions of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Dem.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsSep 27th, 2020

Coco plan boon to 16K farmers

Smallholder coconut farmers are expected to improve their yield after Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF), through its coconut manufacturing arm Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures Inc. (CPAVI), signed a partnership with Friends of Hope for the donation of quality seedlings which will enable planting of productive coconut trees as replacement for old and non-fruit-bearing trees in […] The post Coco plan boon to 16K farmers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2020

Richest 1%’s emissions twice that of poorest 50% — analysis

The richest 1% of people are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest half of the world’s population, 3.1 billion people, new research showed Monday. Despite a sharp decrease in carbon emissions due to the pandemic, the world remains on pace to warm several degrees this century, threatening poor and […] The post Richest 1%’s emissions twice that of poorest 50% — analysis appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2020

Richest 1% to blame for high pollution emissions

Paris---The richest one percent of people are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest half of the world’s population---3.1 billion people---new research showed Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 21st, 2020

Farmers group to supply agri products to hospitals

Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, the Department of Agrarian Reform has tapped a farmers’ group to supply agricultural produce to the biggest government hospital in Eastern Visayas......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020

DoLE releases P6.3-M aid to workers in Region 4-B 

By HANAH TABIOS To help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has poured in P6.3 million in livelihood assistance to various workers’ associations in Region 4-B or the Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan (MIMAROPA) region. Beneficiaries were fishers associations, coconut farmers, tricycle drivers, motorcycle shop workers, women’s groups, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020