World Food Day 2015
On the occasion of the 70th year of the United Nations-declared World Food Day today, the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) described as a “total failure” the Aquino government’s food-security program and dared presidential bets to solve the lingering hunger in the country.
KMP chair Rafael Mariano said “Aquino’s importation-dependent food security program is a total failure.”
“Instead of strengthening local food production through genuine land reform and support to production, Aquino and the Department of Agriculture has mainly relied from food importation coupled with the shameless plunder of funds supposedly intended for farmers,” Mariano said.
Worst, Mariano said, “Aquino’s land-use conversion policy devoted tens of thousands of agricultural lands for exports-crop production, commercial, residential, and eco-tourism purposes.”
The KMP said that “the Filipino people are yet to hear from presidential wannabes their platform on the persistent poverty and hunger in the country.”
“The worsening hunger and poverty is a litmus test to all presidential aspirants. We challenge them to do away with the government’s subservience to neoliberal dictates of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the likes, that resulted to the flooding of imported agricultural in our local market, the devastation of our agriculture, and the massive displacement of our farmers,” Mariano said.
In the Philippines, at least 66 million people go hungry despite surveys that the hunger incidence was the lowest in the last 10 years. “The government callously declared that a person who has P52 to spend every day is not poor and hungry,” says Mariano.
“The prices of food and rice doubled under the Aquino administration. On the average, a kilo of well-milled rice costs P42, which is unaffordable for many of our poor kababayans. High cost of food and rice further deprived our people of access to food,” Mariano concluded. ###