Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is proposing the creation of the Philippine Soybean Authority to mitigate the problem of over-dependence on imported products, promote agribusiness in the countryside and to help attain food security in the country amidst the effects of climate change in global food production.
Marcos made the proposal, contained in the Senate Bill (SB) 2884 which he filed, an account of the fact that the nation imports approximately P19billion of soybean for domestic consumption which considerably contributes to the depletion of the country’s foreign exchange reserves Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, said that the national government should engage in an all-out promotion of both the small-scale and commercial cultivation of soybean in suitable areas of the country.
“With the pressing issues of over-dependence on imported products, malnutrition, unemployment , among others, that beset the country and the alarming threat of climate change on global food production and food security, the long-stalled efforts of the government to promote the soybean production in the country should now be given priority, “ he said.
The senator explained that SB 2884 or the proposed Philippine Soybean Authority Act of 2011 will promote the cultivation, production, processing, marketing and distribution of soybean to improve investment climate, competencies and efficiency of agribusiness by encouraging soybean farming as a source of livelihood, a means of attaining food security and as an effective approach to poverty alleviation and a sustainable course toward freedom from hunger.
“The establishment of the Philippine Soybean Authority as proposed by this measure will kick-off a multi-faceted endeavor that will open far great opportunities, among others, to our farmers. It is in furtherance of the thrusts of the government to attain food security amidst the effect of climate change in global food production.” Marcos said.
According to the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), soybean is one of the most versatile among high value crops and its large-scale production locally could help solve chronic problems of hunger and malnutrition Director Dante De Lima of the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of the BAR said that “with the present challenge of climate change, soybean- a legume that is a short-term, sun-loving crop has a great potential to adopt to extreme climate condition and at the same time, be a source of healthy and nutritious food for the future.”