The Philippines should shift its focus on specific crops to improve the agriculture sector’s overall resilience, competitiveness and sustainability, according to the latest report by the World Bank.
Eli Weiss, author of the report and a senior agriculture economist at the Word Bank Group, said the Philippines should start shifting to a more demand-driven sector, with adjusted modalities of government support, strengthened evidence-based decision-making and larger focus on public goods.
“This will lead to a more diversified sector with strong food value chains, affordable and nutritious food, and a vibrant rural economy,” he said in a webinar organized by the World Bank.
Titled “Transforming Philippine Agriculture During Covid-19 and Beyond,” the report said that transforming the country’s farming and food systems became even more important during the pandemic to ensure strong food value chains, affordable and nutritious food and a vibrant rural economy.
Weiss underscored how the Department of Agriculture values rice as the country’s main staple. He said the staple accounts for about 18 percent of the total value of crops production, while the rice program gets as much as 48 percent of production support services.