PIDS: PH agri revolutions behind in terms of tech
The slow adoption of new technologies has impeded the growth of the country’s agriculture industry, according to a report.
Think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said in a report the industry “is already revolutions behind the absorption of technology,” thus affecting its productivity.
Compared to several countries, the Philippines remained in the mechanization phase, while other countries were already benefiting from innovations in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, Trade Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba said.
Mechanization is considered part of the world’s second industrial revolution, while breakthroughs in robotics is already part of the fourth industrial revolution (FIRe)—showing how far the country has lagged behind.
Aldaba described agriculture as the “weakest link” among industries in the country, citing data from 2000 to 2017 showing a declining growth rate to 1.4 percent from 3.2 percent.
According to PIDS, what’s bogging down the adoption of new technologies may be partly explained by the government’s lack of spending for infrastructure and science and technology geared towards agriculture.
It added the lack of studies discussing the gains and impacts from such investments across administrations.
Some FIRe technologies that can be used to improve the sector’s productivity include drones which can be used in precision spraying, while biotechnology and synthetic biology can be employed to improve crops and invent pharmaceuticals.
“Given the sector’s low productivity and supply constraints, these new technologies are important because they could catalyze its growth and attract new investments,” Aldaba said.
“While the markets are there, we simply do not have the necessary supply of agriculture products,” she added.
The trade official noted these technologies could be used to ensure the country’s food security, especially at a time when its agricultural lands were already being converted to residential and industrial estates.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.