Marcos targets to jack up PH's agricultural exports
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 25) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday his administration will continue to heavily invest in the agriculture sector's modernization as he targets to boost the exportation of agricultural products.
During the 70th founding anniversary of the Federation of Free Farmers, Marcos said the government remains committed to improving the country's agricultural production to ensure food supply and cut reliance on importation.
«This administration is steering the growth of our fisheries and farming industries with urgency,» he said in his speech.
The chief executive said the government is also focusing on «increas[ing] the exportation of our agricultural products, which has been an essential driver in the competitiveness of our economy.»
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country's agricultural trade in the second quarter dropped by 14.9% to $5.93 billion.
Total agricultural exports during the period stood at $1.61 billion, accounting for 27.2% of the total agricultural trade. The figure was also 24.4% lower from a year ago.
Some of the agricultural products exported were edible fruit and nuts, peel of citrus fruit melons, animal or vegetable fats and oils, tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes.
In June, Marcos approved the Philippine Export Development Plan covering 2023 to 2028 to make the country a major player in the market.
READ: Marcos approves Philippine Export Development Plan for 2023-2028
To support this target, Marcos said his administration has proposed a bigger budget for the agri-fisheries sector for next year.
«With a substantial budget of ₱85.88 billion for 2023, and a proposed budget of ₱92.4 billion for 2024, I am optimistic that we can propel the modernization of our agri-fisheries sector,» he said.
For 2023 alone, the Department of Agriculture (DA) earmarked ₱4.73 billion for the mechanization and modernization of the industry.
Marcos—who's also DA secretary—said the government would continue to deepen its ties with cooperatives and pursue policies crucial for the sector's growth.