This chapter includes the following articles.
Contributing around 10% of GDP, the Philippine agriculture and fisheries sector’s importance to the economy remains far larger than its direct impact on the bottom line. The industry is a crucial employer, accounting for for 26.7% of the 43.4m-strong labour force, and is one of the few trades available for many Filipinos living in remote, less-affluent regions. With President Rodrigo Duterte announcing the aim to reduce poverty from 21.6% in 2015 to 14% by 2022 as part of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-22, a logical place to begin would be the agriculture sector, as the rural population collectively lives within a poverty range of 35-40%. The sector also plays directly to another of the president’s talking points about focusing on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, with much of current industrial activity already devoted to downstream processing of agricultural products.
This chapter contains interviews with Emmanuel F Piñol, Secretary, Department of Agriculture; and Rachel Lomibao, CEO, Monsanto Philippines.