Agriculture must be treated as an industry, with the objective of industrializing the value chain of every agricultural commodity. While productivity increase is a major objective, it is equally important to produce more income by value adding, processing, manufacturing, and developing markets for both raw and processed agricultural products.

There is also a need to bring in more active leadership into the agencies involved with the country’s agriculture sector, and engage the private sector in setting up more agri-based industries and developing markets for agriculture products.

Also, links should be established between the large agri-industrial firms and conglomerates in the country, and this could be done through agriculture and rural-based cooperatives, coop federations or farmers’ cooperatives and marketing associations, with the support of state colleges and universities (SCUs). Other joint venture arrangements can be pursued between private sector and the farmers or fisher folk.

But let us not forget establishing sustainability and resiliency every step of the way.

Relative to the industrialization of Philippine agriculture is creating the framework for the digitization of farming and agribusiness activities in the country, to make way for “Agriculture 4.0.”

Among the digital technologies that can be adopted for Philippine agriculture are data analytics, artificial intelligence, geo-mapping, computerization and tapping the Internet of Things. Also, the use of drones is increasing in agriculture worldwide.

Furthermore, industrialization of Philippine agriculture should foster the formation of social enterprises, or those that would involve more of the marginalized in the agricultural value chain while assuring they get their fair share from the fruits of production.

Also, more investments on income- and market-oriented agricultural research for development (R4D) must be made by the government, with SCUs getting more involved. Since most SCUs are located in the provinces, these institutions could know first-hand what type of industries related to agriculture that can be established in their areas based on current activities, and potential from various factors like water and soil resources, climate and location, and markets.

To ignite industrialization as well as modernization in the rural farm economy, the formation of community agriculture management companies/corporations (CAMCs) could be adopted as a measure.

Operating at the village or municipal level, the CAMC’s mandate is to institute a profit-based model in transforming communities by taking part in rural production systems, establishing contractual partnerships that are more socially equitable compared to their traditional economic relations (i.e. away from commodities traders or "compradors"), and introducing newer technologies to the farmer-partners by way of required meetings and learning sessions. The CAMC intends to address these gaps by organizing farmers into managed enterprise groups for contract farming and by engaging itself in the business of trading farm inputs, credit provision, training of agriculture stakeholders, contract growing, and marketing, among others.