The country should have a systematic and long-term strategy in developing and promoting exports of raw and processed agricultural products.

That means exports of agricultural products should not depend on surplus production to supply the international market. What should be done is to achieve economies of scale in on-farm production that would give us sustained quantity and quality of export products.

Again, the private sector’s role will be essential in developing and promoting agricultural products, including establishing and seeking the markets abroad. The government must also provide a nurturing environment including policy support to encourage the farming sector and the private sector to level up, so the Philippines can export more agricultural products.

At present, the Philippines only has two agricultural products that earn at least $1 billion per year in export receipts: bananas; and coconut products (mostly in oil form).

UN Trademap data shows Thailand has 13 types of farm exports earning over $1 billion each a year, Indonesia has five, and Vietnam has seven.

As mentioned in No. 1, there is a need to diversify crop production in the Philippine agricultural landscape. The measure would help the country grow more crops for export.

The CAMCs can also take the lead at the community or village level to organize farmers and fisher folk so they can enter the value-chain for the export market.