Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: aging, agricultural, asia, bbc, blog action day, catholic, CFCA, children, christian, family, Fengshen, Filippino, fishermen, fishing, food, global, government, hunger, land, malnutrition, market, Mindanao, philippines, poverty, rice, typhoon, weather
The poor are always the hardest hit and the first to feel the direct impact of problematic conditions. I know this is true of the Philippines. The people are challenged by violent conflict, government land-use policy and turbulent weather.
The direct result is increased hunger and malnutrition for the most vulnerable.
Here’s a rundown of some of the challenges Filipino families face in their daily lives:
1) Violent conflict: Terrorist activity and four decades of fighting over economic and land rights issues have prevented the Mindanao region from fulfilling its promise as “the rice bowl of the Philippines.” Natural resources are vast in Mindanao, but not much agricultural development has taken place due to the ongoing conflict.
Mindanao still ranks lowest in the Philippines in all areas – education, health and economy. The failure to realize Mindanao’s promise as the rice basket for the Philippines has meant more hunger for the poor throughout the country.
2) Land use policy: Similarly, government policy on land use – allowing prime agricultural land to be turned into shopping malls, condominiums and golf courses – has meant that the Philippines, once self-sufficient in rice production, is now the world’s biggest importer of rice.
With food prices rising dramatically all over the world and rice prices reaching record highs, this has translated into less food for the poor.
3) Severe weather: The Philippine islands are at the mercy of the weather. They are impacted by as many as 25 typhoons or tropical storms each year. These storms destroy property and crops, interrupt the livelihoods of fishermen and kill or displace thousands of people. The recent Typhoon Fengshen damaged an estimated 246,000 hectares of rice farms, which drove up the price of rice and decreased the ability of the poor to afford it.
Rice is the staple food of the Philippine diet. Poor Filipinos rely on rice to feed their families. Whether it’s because of violent conflict, goverment policies or damaging weather, the poor are the first to feel the effects of reduced rice production.
Please visit these blogs from the CFCA community also participating in Blog Action Day ’08:
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