By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
IF elected president, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he would help all backyard farmers in the country.
Marcos, standard bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas party, said that he will focus on how to give backyard farmers a discount in buying commercial feeds for poultry, swine and fish.
While organic farming is supported, Marcos said he is aware that it is inevitable that rural people will consume commercialized pork, chicken and fish.
"Isa sa dahilan kung bakit maraming backyard raisers ang nalulugi at nadidismayang huwag nang ituloy ang ganitong uri ng kabuhayan ay dahil sa sobrang mahal ng presyo ng mga (One of the reasons why many backyard raisers are losing money and frustrated not to pursue this type of livelihood is because of the high price of) commercial feeds," Marcos said in a statement.
"Mataas na nga ang risk sa pag-aalaga ng baboy o manok, masyadong mataas pa ang presyo ng feeds. Madalas doon na napupunta ang dapat sanang kita ng mga kababayan nating nag-aalaga ng hayop o 'di kaya nagtatanim ng halaman at gulay sa kanilang mga bakuran (The risk of raising pigs or chickens is already high, the price of feeds is too high. That is often where the income of our farmers in their yards goes)," he added.
If the price of feeds is properly discounted, the former senator said it will be a big reduction on the expenses of the animal raisers.
For the companies that make commercial feeds not to go bankrupt, Marcos wants to ensure that all the raw materials they use to make the prices of feeds will go down.
"Maayos na pag-uusap at maayos na sistema. Kailangan natin ang mga namumuhunan na katulad ng mga gumagawa ng commercial feeds, pero kailangan din nating tulungan ang mga kababayan natin sa kanayunan. Sa palagay ko naman ay mapag-uusapan nang maayos iyan para maging patas at sapat ang presyo ng mga commercial feeds (We need investors similar to those who make commercial feeds but we also need to help our countrymen in the countryside. I think that can be discussed properly so that the price of the commercial feeds is fair and adequate)," he said.
Marcos' running mate, vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said one of the solutions is to have a uniform farm gate price in every town or city.
He said all local government units (LGUs) and barangay (village) officials must be mobilized to have the proper watchdog in the implementation of the farm gate price.
"Talagang mayroong iilang biyahero ang nagsasamantala sa farm gate price na kung kailan season ng anihan ay doon naman sila magtataas ng presyo. Kaya ang dapat na maging bantay dito ay ang ating LGUs at mga barangay officials (There are really few travelers [traders] who take advantage of the farm gate price who increase the price during harvest season. So, our local government unit and barangay officials should be on guard here)," he said.
Marcos said that LGUs and village officials can use modern technology to inform farmers about the right farm gate price at least once every week.
He also said there should be regular consultations and seminars with all backyard raisers to hear their other grievances and provide up-to-date information on how to properly care for and reproduce the livestock products they sell.
"Napakarami na natin kilalang kababayan na nakapagpatapos ng pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak dahil lang sa pag-aalaga at pagtitinda ng manok o baboy (We have so many well-known countrymen whose children were able to finish their education just because of raising and selling chickens or pigs)," Marcos said.
"Importante po na maalagaan sila at mapalakas, lalo't bukod sa bagyo ay problema pa ang bird flu, African swine fever at foot and mouth disease (It is important to take care of them and strengthen them, especially since bird flu, African swine fever and foot and mouth disease are also a problem)," he added.