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Marcos wants detailed cropping schedule to protect local production

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday he wants a comprehensive cropping schedule to protect domestic production.

In a meeting, Marcos asked agriculture officials "to go into more detail on the cyclical nature of crops in the Philippines to avoid importing products during the harvest season."

Marcos, who also sits as Agriculture chief, said the government should consider the sensitivities of local cropping, particularly the cyclical nature, when sourcing products abroad.

“Hindi tayo nag-i-import ng kahit anong produkto pagka maraming production para naman magamit natin lahat ng production na galing sa Pilipinas,” Marcos said.

(If we have a lot of production, we won't import anything so that we may use what the Philippines produces.)

“Kung mag-i-import lang tayo, kung talagang may kulang and that’s what I mean [by] the cyclical nature of crops, that we have to be sensitive to that," he added.

(We will import if there's still insufficiency; that's what I mean by the cyclical nature of crops and that we have to be sensitive to that.)

Marcos said Filipino farmers should change their planting schedule to take advantage of the rainy season, noting that it may bring some benefits since farmers can have three croppings a year.

Fisheries sector

Meanwhile, Marcos said the government had already started formulating a plan to improve the country’s fisheries sector and that he had tasked different agencies with developing the necessary infrastructure and facilities.

"So we have started to formulate a plan to improve the fishing grounds for our aquaculture that is in land, in our rivers, and in freshwater although we have a good supply of tilapia and bangus. Although tinitingnan kasi ang galunggong pero ang katotohanan marami pa tayong ibang production,” the President said.

“Now, kulang pa rin ang production natin sa fisheries kaya’t kailangan natin tingnan pati ‘yung tinatawag na mariculture ‘yung mga isda na nasa dagat (we still lack production in the fisheries sector so we need to check even the mariculture). So that is basically what we were discussing and putting together also we were already starting to give the tasking to the different agencies like DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), like DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines), LandBank, the CDA or the Cooperative Development Authority," he added.

Marcos said he had ordered different agencies to craft a plan for agriculture that would focus on the fishing industry in a bid to increase fish stocks.

Citing the 2023 Demand and Supply Outlook for Basic Commodities, the Presidential Communications Office said that the country's demand for fish, at 3.55 million metric tons, exceeds the supply, which stands at 2.97 million metric tons.  — VBL, GMA Integrated News