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Future Sources of Productivity and Growth in Philippine Agriculture

This paper helps economic planners identify the future sources of growth and productivity in the agriculture sector. It also reviews the contribution of the private sector in agribusiness development. Although agriculture performed relatively well in the post-war period, it might have been better if the government created an environment conducive to greater private participation in agriculture. This would mean higher private investments and thus make it possible to re-channel public funds to other areas that require immediate attention. It is necessary to address a number of policy concerns to ensure that growth in agriculture is translated into development especially in the rural sector where majority of the population reside. This means that policy makers must be concerned with equity, economic efficiency and sustainability in choosing the set of policies that promote agricultural growth. There are already indications that these concerns are translated into actions by addressing poverty alleviation, competitiveness, environmental protection and food security. The liberalization of farm output and input prices and tariff reforms under WTO agreement is a big step to raise economic incentives in agriculture. Initiatives in biotechnology researches are also good signs to improve productivity in agriculture. Where opportunities are favorable, the private sector has proven itself to be a reliable source of investment in agriculture. This has been manifested in the involvement of private enterprises in many private agribusiness activities (inputs supply, primary production and processing) and innovations in organization of production (contract growing and land consolidation) to achieve higher production efficiencies.


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