Author: Dr. William Dar
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
I recently went over the latest report of The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) that was developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit with backing from DuPont. And I must say that I was not surprised on its findings on the Philippines.
My column published in The Manila Times on October 27, 2016 entitled “Food Security vs Food Self Sufficiency” actually discussed last year’s GFSI findings, and I also stated that I was not surprised by its findings. So what is really wrong with the country’s agriculture sector?
A respected colleague of mine Dr. Rolando Dy made an analysis of the 2017 GFSI and I will discuss some of them here, as they also point to a need to do something drastic for the Philippine agriculture sector.
Although the latest report did not paint a sordid picture of the country’s agriculture sector, much has to be done to make the Philippines truly “food secure” as opposed to “food self-sufficient.” As I stated in my column on October 27 last year, food security should not be equated with food self-sufficiency, because the latter is about producing food stocks locally, which does not really equate to food security if a greater portion of the population cannot afford to buy nutritious and safe food.
So based on the latest GFSI, the most food secure nation in Asean is Singapore, with a global rank of No. 19 followed by Malaysia at No. 43. Singapore obviously does not have an agriculture sector, but its high per capita income of $73,168 and its ability to import quality food stocks, store them and make them available to its population explains its high ranking in the 2017 GFSI.