Press Release
October 15, 2014

Agri dormant sector for inclusive growth--Villar

The dormant force in the agriculture sector could likely be a major contributor to our goal of inclusive growth, particularly for Filipino farmers and fisherfolks, considered among the poorest in the country, said Senator Cynthia A. Villar.

In her speech before the Association of Filipino Franchises Inc. (AFFI) 2014 Filipino Franchise Show (Galing Pinoy) at the World Trade Center, Villar said there is still a lot of untapped potential in the agriculture sector.

She noted there are various entrepreneurial opportunities in agriculture that need to be tapped. Due to this, he said they have been including agribusiness in the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) annual OFW and Family Summit as among the main highlights.

"We should really join efforts in changing mindsets, equipping entrepreneurial-minded people with concepts, tools and strategies to excel and succeed in pursuing agribusiness opportunities. Particularly, the youth, we need to encourage and entice them to be agri-entrepreneurs," stressed Villar.

As chairperson of the Senate Agriculture and Food committee, Villar related that she gives priority to agriculture to alleviate the lives of farmers and fisherfolks.

"And I know that venturing into agri-business will help farmers diversify and supplement their agricultural incomes," said Villar, an advocate of agribusiness and entrepreneurship.

She also underscored the need to help look for other opportunities to help augment their income.

"We can improve agricultural communities in the country and the establishment of agri-businesses or franchises is one way of doing so." said Villar.

Aside from a source of livelihood and income of businessmen, this will also ensure the country's food security.

With the event's theme, 'Filipino Entrepreneur amidst Global Competitiveness or the Strategic Advantage of Filipino Entrepreneurs,' Villar said it is about time to reverse poverty in the agricultural sector.

She cited findings of the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB) on official poverty statistics showing that since 1985 up to the most recently released figures in 2009, the concentration of the poor has been in the entire agriculture sector.

In fact, poverty incidence among farmers at 36.7% is higher than the average for the whole country, which stood at 27.9%, also based on the latest available figures from NSCB.

She also said workers in the agriculture sector are also among the lowest paid in the country.

According to NSCB, farmers and fishermen receive an average daily wage and salary of P156.8 and P178.43.

"I even found out that coconut farmers in Davao earn less than P50 a day. Poverty incidence among fisherfolks and farmers, based on latest available statistics is at 41.4% and 36.7%, respectively--above the country's 26.5%," further stated Villar.

News Latest News Feed