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MONTEREY, California - Earlier today, I mounted a 40 year old John Deere tractor which was brought back to tiptop shape.  I have always had a love affair with tractors ever since I was 7-years-old.  My cousin and I were seatmates in Grade 2 and our intermediate pad was often filled with drawings of tractors and farm implements.

Truth to be told, I can spend more time admiring a tractor than a Formula 1 race car.  I even know how to drive one.  I posted my photo on the tractor as my Facebook profile pic and I'm sure some may have been amused.  Nevertheless, you will not be amused with what I am about to write here. 



We have just finished our elections and I am looking not just at the next six years but the milestone and challenge after six years in the year 2022.  I was scrounging around for a number, a percentage by which I can be comfortable with in terms of estimating the amount of arable land which will be lost to real estate development, conversion into other use, or affected by armed conflict.  The safest number I can pull out 11%.  Yes, whatever land we have allocated at this time to farming, will shrink to 89%.

What's worse, by the same date, 2022, we will have 11% more mouths to feed in the Philippines.  So the question is, how are we going to feed the Filipino people?  Will we just rely on importation?

I am happy that a new administration has come in.  Proceso Alcala as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture is on his way out.  While Duterte has not yet named his Cabinet members, the presence of former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Dominguez in Duterte's think tank is a breath of fresh air.  Hopefully, the new think tank will considered the numbers I've estimated.

Now you know.  My profile pic is not just a point of amusement.







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