Farm industrialization seen potentially attracting foreign investment

INDUSTRIALIZING farming is expected to hold the potential for attracting significant foreign investment to agriculture, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

“The government should really move towards industrialized farming (allowing even) foreign investment. If we are attracting foreign investment in manufacturing, why not in the agriculture sector?” PCCI President George T. Barcelon said on the sidelines of a forum in Pasay City on Wednesday.

“Let’s open up industrial farming (in a way that attracts investment for) irrigation and technology,” he added.

Speaking separately to BusinessWorld Live on One News channel, Mr. Barcelon added that the harvest season will soon address any shortages in sugar.

Various manufacturers have said they are having difficulty sourcing sugar.

“I would not say it is the whole country facing a shortage because apparently we are moving into harvest season, and there will be new sugar available. So to move forward, (the solution involves) coordinating with the millers and also the users of sugar,” Mr. Barcelon said.

“What’s important really is for exporters to be competitive… our cost of sugar compared to ASEAN neighbors is almost double… We’re not saying mills or traders should be losing money but the price realistically should be much lower than the market price right now,” he added.  — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave