Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Braga Blames Land Conversion, Imports For Scarcity Of Rice

Councilor Pilar Braga yesterday blamed land conversion from agriculture to housing and industrial use and the continued importation of rice as the culprits behind the present rice shortage in the country. However, she clarified that there is no rice shortage, only a rice-land shortage.

Braga also blamed the government's stance in discouraging people from becoming farmers by "discouraging agriculture as a way of life" leading to the closure of farming and agricultural schools in the country.

This reminded me of that time several years ago when the entry of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao is still being debated and protested by various universities here saying the state-financed university will only duplicate the existing courses being offered by the Mindanao institutions.

The defense of UP then was that they will offer different courses to differentiate itself to the other institutions. Several years later, UPMindanao is offering almost the same courses being offered by the other institutions like SocSci, Mathematics, Architecture, etc. Perhaps, introducing courses that are being offered by UP Los Baños will help in making sure that the country will produce better farmers in the years to come.

However, at the rate UPMindanao is going where politicking is a way of life and administrative officers are changed one after the other this may still be a long wait.

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