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World Bank says PH fares well on spurring agri businesses

/ 12:31 PM October 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines is faring well in terms of enabling agricultural businesses in the country as compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts, according to World Bank.

Based on the organization’s 2019 report entitled “Enabling the Business of Agriculture,” the country ranked 42nd out of 101 countries in terms of providing regulations that positively affect the livelihood of domestic farmers.

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Vietnam and Thailand trailed behind and ranked 56th and 58th, respectively, while Malaysia (61st), Cambodia (84th), Papua New Guinea (88th), and Myanmar (91st) were placed at the farther end of the list.

The report assesses whether governments around the world create a conducive environment for farmers to operate their businesses through proper legislation.

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Countries were evaluated on a scale of 100 based on eight qualitative indicators namely: supplying seed, registering fertilizer, securing water, registering machinery, sustaining livestock, protecting plant health, trading food, and accessing finance.

The Philippines got an overall score of 68.03, and garnered the highest rate in terms of providing seeds at 84. Its lowest rating was 40 with regards to ensuring plant health.

First on the list was France with a score of 93.40 while Liberia garnered the lowest score of 16.42.

“Governments play a key role in enabling growth in agriculture. Laws and regulations influence the cost of production and determine the extent to which the private sector can benefit from investment and trade,” World Bank said.

“Supportive regulations facilitate farmers’ participation in agricultural value chains, whereas unnecessary burdens prevent them from reaping the benefits of the increasing global food demand,” it added.

The report specifically mentioned the Philippines’ move to improve farmers’ access to finance by introducing laws on agent banking. In this regard, the country is one of 13 countries that employed 13 reforms in terms of finance access.

Nonetheless, the report noted that it did not factor in physical factors that also play a significant role in terms of measuring agricultural growth.

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These include infrastructure-related issues such as the quality of connecting roads, natural disasters like droughts and floods, the type of soil present in various areas, as well as the length of growing seasons. /jpv

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