Cut out the middlemen and sell agri products directly online — think tank
MANILA, Philippines — Think tank Infrawatch PH has a strategy to take down opportunistic middlemen and end rising agricultural prices in the Philippines: start selling agricultural products online.
With the rising cost of local agricultural produce, the suggestion offers hope. For example, onions are more expensive in the Philippines than anywhere else in the world, the group said.
READ: Onion prices worldwide much lower, deepen questions on incredulous costs in PH
“With rising prices on almost every essential agricultural commodity, government can make no more excuses for the high prices of vegetables, rice, dairy and other products while producers are forced to sell their goods for a pittance. We need to create the digital infrastructure to break the backs of unscrupulous traders and middlemen,” said Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon.
According to Ridon, the digital platform would disincentivize middlemen from making large profits at the expense of both farmers and consumers.
“By breaking the backs of unscrupulous middlemen, we will be able to raise the dignity of farmers and farmworkers who should be paid reasonably for working on the land. With a digital platform, we will be able to make sure that the public can allocate more resources to buy more food and other essentials due to better prices of agricultural goods,” said the convenor.
He also urged the government to enact proactive measures to address the price increases, including going after smugglers and unscrupulous middlemen.
“The government should definitely file economic sabotage cases against identified smugglers and middlemen responsible for the current inflated prices of agricultural goods. The law on economic sabotage has been in place for several years yet not a single criminal has been put behind bars,” Ridon added.
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