Issue of September 9, 2018
Mt. Province

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PH agriculture lags behind in use of ‘4th industrial revolution’
by PIDS release

The Philippine agriculture is already revolutions behind the absorption of technology, turning it into a laggard in a number of ways, especially in terms of productivity.

Department of Trade and Industry Asec. Rafaelita Aldaba said the sector is still in the mechanization phase, generally considered part of the second industrial revolution.

This is amid the fact that several countries are already reaping the fruits of the fourth industrial revolution (FIRe) in their respective agriculture sectors, according to Dr. Jose Ramon Albert, Philippine Institute of Development Studies senior research fellow.

These include FIRe technologies on artificial intelligence that can detect diseases as well as agricultural applications, such as drones used in precision spraying. Biotechnology and synthetic biology are also being employed abroad to improve crops and invent pharmaceuticals, Albert said.  

“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.

From 2000 to 2017, the agriculture sector has slowed down from 3.2 to 1.4 percent growth rate.

The weak performance, according to Aldaba, should concern the government as the economy of the regions outside Manila is dependent on agriculture.

“Given the weak performance of the agriculture sector, how can we then transform our regional economies?” she asked.


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