LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the country is on the right track toward food security and climate change.
“I think we are laying down a good foundation,” Alcala told the media here, citing the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trade Center for the region’s produce.
“While we have our fears in the Philippines, other ASEAN countries have their fear.”
Alcala said Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan and Assistant Secretary Paz Benavidez Jr. have been laying the groundwork for processing vegetables for export to Vietnam.
“As long as we are opening up, I think we can really be competitive,” he said. “That’s how smart the Filipino is.”
Alcala cited the fundamentals in the agriculture sector such as farm-to-market roads, water impounding, farm mechanization among other factors to improve the quality of yield at a competitive price.
He said the country achieved 93 percent rice sufficiency in 2013 but the goal did not end there.
“Let’s find crops in which we have the advantage,” Alcala said.
Records showed that about P28 billion worth of corn used to be imported every year until growers achieved bumper harvests that would enable the country to sell to Asian neighbors.
Alcala called on farmers who may be having apprehensions about ASEAN integration to get their act together.
“We can do more if we work together than if we work individually,” he said.