Scientists Call for Thoroughgoing Reforms to Resolve Rice Crisis

Citing data from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP-Philippine Peasant Movement), she said that farm workers in Negros receive only P20-P90 ($0.45 to $2.03 at an exchange rate of $1=P44.23) per day; in Cagayan Valley, P69 ($1.56) per day; and, in Samar, P50 ($1.13).

Cosico attributed this to the problem of landlessness, with 1/3 of landlords owning 80 percent of agricultural land. She said 51 percent of farmlands are under tenancy.

She said that multinational corporations also control the land, with 220,000 hectares in Mindanao occupied by Dole and Del Monte.

Backward agricultural production

Cosico said that local production is backward and stunted. Philippine agriculture has a low mechanization level with only two percent of farms mechanized. She said that there are only 102 tractors, six harvesters/treshers per 1,000 hectares of agricultural land

Irrigation is very low, too. BPSU’s Calderon cited that while 19 percent of the total irrigated area in the Philippines is in Central Luzon, still, 85 percent of agricultural lands in the region are not irrigated.

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