This solon supports PBBM’s call to use technology in agriculture

Published December 6, 2022, 8:10 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

A pro-farmer congressman has backed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s call to utilize technology in improving the state of the local agriculture sector.

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee (left) and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (MANILA BULLETIN)

“Sinusuportahan natin ang nabanggit ng Pangulo tungkol sa paggamit ng teknolohiya sa agrikultura (We support the President’s remarks on the use of technology on agriculture). Along with other reforms, we need to be able to cascade available technology to the grassroots,” AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee said in a statement Tuesday, Dec. 6.

The President’s remarks followed a recent visit and meeting with officials of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna, during which he noted the various new technologies the latter have developed.

“It’s up to us now in the Philippine government to make sure those technologies, those products go down to the grassroots,” Lee said, adding that he’s hopeful the Marcos administration would be able to institutionalize this policy.

Marcos, the concurrent agriculture chief, also cited the need to adopt “supportive policies” to modernize the rice sector as part of a vibrant agri-food industry in the Philippines.

Lee expressed his agreement, saying that the Philippines should follow the example of other countries that have heavily invested in agri-tech and used these to ramp up their agriculture to overcome various disadvantages.

The solon pointed to the experience of countries such as the Netherlands and Israel which, despite having much smaller agricultural land compared to the Philippines, are able to generate a surplus in production.

“To overcome the lack of water for irrigation, Israel developed drip irrigation systems. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, despite having agricultural land that is only around 20 percent of ours, generated agricultural export revenues worth around $111 billion.

“Ano ang lesson dito? (What’s the lesson here?) Technology and innovative solutions work. We can have exponential growth kung palalawakin natin ang paggamit nito (if we widen its usage),” Lee said.