Why agriculture projects in PH fail | Inquirer Opinion

Why agriculture projects in PH fail

/ 02:20 AM May 30, 2011

THIS IS a reaction to the news item “DA to learn everything it can about farmers, fishermen” (Inquirer, 5/16/11), which reported that “The Department of Agriculture will conduct the first-ever census of farmers and other agricultural workers to find out the sector’s gaps and vulnerabilities.” It also quoted Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala as saying that “This database will therefore enhance the DA’s responsiveness, quality of public service, and effectiveness in helping improve the lives of our farmers and fisherfolk through appropriate policies and programs”

It must be noted that, in the last two decades, there were programs and projects related to agriculture and fisheries. These were undertaken by both the DA and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in partnership with the sector’s organizations as the main implementors. The projects were formulated based on political, social, economic and environmental assessments conducted through participatory and non-participatory research. But most of the projects that received enormous funding from the government, IMF-World Bank, ADB and NGOs-partner funding institutions failed to significantly improve the lives of the farmers and the fisherfolk. The below-par accomplishments of the projects were caused not by the failure to identify the sector’s gaps and vulnerabilities but by the organizations’ deficit in key success variables, namely: capacity to do the right activities; coherence in actions and activities based on the system-orientation principle; autonomy in decision-making; and adaptability to the changing situation or environment.

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Manny Pacquiao’s greatness and success can be attributed to the fact that he has developed the characteristics of key success variables. We hope that he who is idolized by the people and who declared, prior to his fight against Mosley, that “my biggest fight is to end poverty in my country” can serve as a role model worthy of emulation by the farmers and fisherfolk so that they’d do better and contribute to their sector’s above-par performance and improve their lives.

—EDMUNDO ENDEREZ,
[email protected]

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TAGS: agriculture, farmers, fisherfolk, government projects, Manny Pacquiao, Sec. Proceso Alcala
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