MANILA � A party-list lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Monday pushed for the passage of a measure that would boost the performance of the private sector and help farmers secure financial and technical support through a corporate farming program.
In filing House Bill 3369, AAMBIS-Owa Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin said the proposed corporate farming program, with rice and corn as primary crops, would give corporations and partnerships some incentives to take up farming.
Farmers, in exchange, are expected to be provided with capital, production inputs, technology boost, and other technical services.
"The entry of the corporations and partnerships in farming would correct most of the shortcomings of small-scale farms which include lack of capital, shortage of competent business managers, and loose financial controls, to name a few," Garin said in the bill's explanatory note.
Garin cited the role of the private sector in driving the growth of most ASEAN economies.
We acknowledge that the participation of the private sector is crucial in our goal to uplift the lives of small and marginalized farmers, and subsequently, the state of the agriculture sector," Garin said.
Under the bill, corporations and partnerships who wish to enter management contracts or joint venture arrangements with farmers' organizations and agrarian reform beneficiaries shall provide the production inputs and technical-related services, then buy the product resulting from the farming contract.
Furthermore, corporations and partnerships shall be required to provide livelihood projects or opportunities to families in coordination with local government units in charge of identifying appropriate land areas for corporate farming.
Garin said this is in response to the call of Acting Agriculture Secretary William Dar to apply new thinking in addressing the gaps faced by the agriculture sector.
The concept introduced by Sec. Dar underscores the private sector's role in developing and promoting agricultural products and leveling up the country's agriculture sector by increasing farmers' income.
Corporate farming assures higher income for our farmers because it will allow them to partake of the margins in primary production and the rest of the value chain to which they are not normally entitled in conventional farming, Garin said.
The proposed law shall provide tax incentives for participating corporations and partnerships in all aspects germane to corporate farming activities.
The incentives include exemption from the payment of customs duties and exemption from Value Added Tax on the importation of all types of agricultural inputs particularly seeds, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, and other agricultural implements. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency