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Agriculture

The Philippine agricultural environment is comprised of tropical and maritime climatic conditions. For that matter, the country's abundant rainfall, high humidity and temperature sustain the farming industry. Although rainfall varies from region to region, the much needed water to grow crops still provides continued productivity among farmers. Regardless of the weather condition, many farmers continue to cultivate their lands for crops.

Rice Farming - Mt. Malindang Background

Not all farmers own farm lands, but with the functionality of tenancy agreement, many farmers are able to cultivate lands and produce crops. Some farmers produce crops just enough to feed their family, but many have also produced for local and national commercial sales. This is because the Filipino farmers are tenacious and hardworking individuals who never give up regardless of whatever circumstances and calamities that may challenge their farming livelihood. Many of them are stricken by poverty, but their commitment to family and God provides them with the strength and determination to conquer failure.

Grown Lacatan Banana Plantation

The country's National Government is pushing for expanded agricultural development in all regions of the Philippines. Its objective is to provide assistance through agricultural policy planning on production, processing and marketing of the commodities being produced. Research and training through extension services are available to equip the farming communities with the knowledge and skills for a productive farming. Although a hard and heavy task, Filipino farmers continue to farm. They produce a variety of crops ranging from rice, sugarcane, corn, cassava, coconuts, vegetables, exotic orchids, and tropical fruits, such as Durian, Rambutan, and Lakatan Banana. Depending on the size of crops being produced, cultivated plots are arranged in such a way that each area is rainfed, weeded, and cultivated accordingly. Maintenance is done through fertilization and the prevention of infestation.

Grown Rambutan Fruit Plantation

Many prime agricultural land in the Philippines are producing cash crops intended for export only. Crops from coconut products, rice, pineapples, sugarcanes, bananas, and mangoes are exported to other countries and much of the proceeds generate revenues from foreign exchange. Because the country's currency is devalued, foreign exchange revenues certainly provide a promising future for our farmers. However, there are drawbacks. For example, certain regions of the Philippines engage mainly on crop production for export cash crops purposes. Such practice is threatening the availability of food supply in the community. The farmers self-sufficiency for staple food, such as rice is reduced. Therefore, the price of rice becomes high and many families are having difficulties to afford the same. The result is hunger and malnutrition.

For that matter, because such difficulties are challenging the Filipino farmers, it is important that as Filipinos, we extend our hands to them. For example, we can provide any form of assistance to provide them with new knowledge and skills other than farming to help sustain life. Even by being a volunteer during your homecoming visit to your individual hometown communities would tremendously help them. Your expertise in certain skills can be passed on to your "Kababayans" by volunteering to teach your communities so they could learn new knowledge and skills should farming becoming less supportive and productive.

Ging Mutia

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Saturday, April 19, 2003 (Revised)