A new book that calls for action on poverty reduction through a revitalized agribusiness sector was recently launched at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Written by Prof. Rolando T. Dy of the UA&P, “Agribusiness and Rural Progress: Actions for Poverty Reduction” contains 86 articles that cover the global and ASEAN fronts, local and regional perspectives, rural development, governance, and commodity focus.

The book espouses a dynamic, progressive and inclusive economy that is anchored on three strong, interactive pillars: agriculture, industry and services, which have wide linkages. Many people are still not familiar with the depth and breadth of agribusiness and, therefore, do not appreciate its import in overall economic development. The value chain starts with agriculture and fisheries, followed by agri-food manufacturing and agri-services.

For the Philippine economy, poverty is an agricultural phenomenon. In 2015, the national poverty incidence was at 21.6 percent, the highest among ASEAN peers. Most of the poor are in the rural sector where farming and fishing are the main livelihood.

The book observes that high rural poverty is caused by unproductive traditional agriculture and fisheries, which is an offshoot of a lack of investments, weak institutions, poor governance, and unfavorable policies. Low productivity affects investments. Similarly, high poverty also affects investments in consumer and industrial goods.

“Agribusiness and Rural Progress: Actions for Poverty Reduction” is the third book on agribusiness authored by Professor Dy. It will be a useful reference for agribusiness practitioners, economists, researchers, policymakers, students and the general public.

The articles are stand-alone pieces and need not be read in sequence. Most of them were published in MAPping the Future in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, MAP Insights in BusinessWorld, and in the UA&P Food and Agri Business Monitor.

Dy’s earlier books include “Agribusiness and Inclusive Growth: An Expert’s Advocacy,” released in 2015, and “Food for Thought: How Agribusiness is Feeding the World,” which came out in 2009. Both books were sold out. Professor Dy has also co-authored several other books.

Dy is the Executive Director of UA&P’s Center for Food and Agri Business. He has been an observer of international agribusiness development for 40 years, with engagements in the ASEAN countries, especially Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal, which is visited almost every day by farming enthusiasts looking for planting materials of superior fruit trees, has been accredited as one of the outlets of the book. For more information, contact 0995-5849155 or 0947-409-4700. The book comes in two editions. The hardbound copy costs ₱1,000 while the softbound costs ₱800 plus delivery cost by courier.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s April 2017 issue.