Yes to Habito’s suggestion: Fire DA chief
I was amazed by the article “President to give up DA post when food crisis over” (Business, 1/17/23).
Given the current shortfall in basic food supplies like pork, fish, sugar, onion, and now, eggs, it looks like President Marcos Jr. will most likely further extend his stint as Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary.Per various accounts, food supply problems besetting our country are the combination of the following factors, to wit:
• low production of said food items by our farmers and fishers;
• excessive trade protection of the domestic agricultural industry from unfair foreign competition in terms of supply, demand, costs, and other considerations;
• high cost of production due to expensive farm and fishing inputs;
• the need to improve research and agriculture and fishing extension systems (the modes of delivery for improved technology, techniques, and practices to raise farmers’ and fishers’ productivity).
As a consequence, the country is dependent on imports because of insufficient production, a problem that was exacerbated by the pandemic.
Now more than ever, what we need, as Inquirer columnist Ciel Habito said, is to “fire” the President as agriculture secretary, and for him to appoint “a capable and effective full-time leader for the beleaguered [DA] … to make it truly responsive to the needs of farmers, fishers, and consumers alike” to forestall the further worsening of the food supply in our country.
Emiliano Manahan Jr.,
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