By Leslie D. Venzon
MANILA, June 10 (PNA) — Stronger support from the private sector and higher investments to develop industries that contribute to job creation are needed in reducing rural poverty and achieving inclusive growth, said an agriculture and rural development policy expert.
Dr. Rolando Dy, executive director of the University of Asia and the Pacific’s (UAP) Center for Food and Agribusiness, said the country needs more investments to create jobs, particularly in agriculture, tourism and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) related to food sector, to reduce poverty in the countryside.
“You have to also look at other non-rice crops –coconut, oil palm, rubber, cacao, coffee and fruit trees. In terms of expenditures, look at other crops with market and profit potential,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of conference for inclusive growth.
Dy said government efforts must be geared towards increasing farm productivity.
“Almost three-fourth of your poor is in the countryside. So what is the solution? The solution is increase farm productivity,” he noted.
During the conference, Professor Liu Yonggong, managing director at China Agricultural University’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Development, outlined Chinese government’s initiatives in rural development.
Yonggong said that China’s financial investment for rural infrastructure reaches five percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). It is also implementing national agricultural development programs.
To encourage support from the private sector, Dy said businesses should be provided incentives to invest especially in the countryside.
”Inclusive growth is a paramount societal concern and it is important that businesses help the rural poor by improving productivity and assisting in increasing their incomes,” he said. (PNA)