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Interactive Dialogue on “Targeting Hunger: South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Transforming Agriculture”

Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Ms. Leila C. Lora-Santos, Minister, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
Trusteeship Council Chamber, UNHQ


Panel 2: The role of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in facilitating knowledge-sharing, knowledge-building and in leveraging investments in agriculture and food systems to combat hunger


Madam Chair,

We align with the statement made by G77 and China.

The Philippine government has various action programs to help the farm sector, including through agrarian reform, farm credit programs and support initiatives, farm extension, farm to market roads, and farm mechanization in select areas and price support programs. However, more can be done and is being done to address the circumstances of the average Filipino farmer.

In line with our country’s “New Thinking for Agriculture”, agriculture must be treated as an industry, with the objective of industrializing the value chain of every agricultural commodity. In pursuit of this objective, the Philippines has recently legislated the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program,” referring to the comprehensive and holistic approach in promoting the establishment of enterprises involving agriculture and fishery products.

On leveraging the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between the global north and south, a FAO policy paper in 2014[1] emphasized that given the limitations of alternative sources, foreign direct investment could make a contribution to bridging the investment gap in developing countries’ agriculture. The available data shows that agricultural FDI is very small compared with domestic agricultural investment. Further, the agricultural sector still accounts for a very small percentage of total FDI inflows in most developing countries. There is a potential for growth if more investments can be directed to the sector. While FDI cannot be expected to become the main source of capital, it can potentially generate various types of benefits for the agricultural sector of the host country such as employment creation, technology transfer and better access to capital markets. The global North should be able to assist South governments and investors, through FDIs, to develop effective partnerships with local organizations, including the private sector and civil society.

Finally, to strengthen knowledge networks, partnerships and cooperation for research and innovation, mechanisms should be optimized and better coordinated. Also, additional budget and investments are needed in income-and market-oriented agricultural research, with State Colleges and Universities (SCUs) getting more involved. Web-based information support systems should also be developed to provide more efficient sourcing and sharing of reliable agriculture information and data.

Thank you.


[1] “Impacts of Foreign Agricultural Investments on Developing Countries: Evidence from Case Studies” by Pascal Liu, Senior Economist, Trade and Markets Division, FAO 2014