Peer Review by Anish Aradhey (United States)

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A Call of Change For the Highland Farmers From Cordillera Of Philippines

By: cherriedee

For many years, farmers from the highlands of Cordillera( Philippines ) endured the effects of low prices of their vegetables which had exacerbated their financing problems. Farming just like business, begins with a capital where it involves the expenses needed to grow the plant until it is ready for harvesting. Then, these crops are harvested through the system of "bayanihan" and then traveled to the trading center. In here, aside for the farmers dealing with their tiredness, they also need to prepare themselves emotionally for the prices given at the trading center in which ironically, some middlemen takes advantage of and buying them at an unreasonable price. While the highland vegetables are being sold by the farmers with unsatisfying price, they are being retailed with high price at the distribution areas. Hence the effects of injustices requires an action from the Philippine government in order to improve the agriculture and marketing system which is a major component of the country's economical growth.

A thesis study on 2001 of Ms. Aimee Hampel-Milagrosa stated that the concerted efforts of the government, research agencies, both public and private, universities and extension agents are needed. The thesis was conducted long ago and it states a clear solution that must have been done at the year but it seems that until this current year, it's the solution needed. The highland vegetables will always be a part of the Philippine economy and industry considering that the Cordillera Administrative Region(CAR) is the main producers of temperate vegetables( e.g. cabbage, carrot, and potato ) and the government have been wrong to be unable to make an intervention to the system of trading of the said vegetables. The implementation of Rice Program from the Department of Agriculture includes the price control of rice in the country. For the highland vegetables, atleast price control would be a great intervention of the government at the trading. From my experience as for my parents are farmers, we have a very tight budget because the crops were not ready for harvesting. We relly on the profit that the crops will provide after harvesting so with low price, it will incur losses.

The middlemen setting the price of the crops instead of the farmer is a clear foul system at the trading which have to be exterminated. A conclusion from the same thesis of Hampel-Milagrosa states that the marketing system of vegetables in the CAR is often described as being disordered and unsystematic because of multitude participants in the system and there is no trading method being followed. Just looking how the price of the crops are determined, a person can tell that it is unfair for the farmers. If the reason behind the low prices is over supply, then that's where the government should intervene. Although the farmers could cooperate and make an agreement whether who should cultivate cabbage or carrot or potato and how many volume of each farmer should produce to avoid over supply but the middlemen will still set the price of the crops. Even if the middlemen will buy the crops at a reasonable price, the price at the distribution areas will remain high which is why the government should do the intervention- this will not only be regarding the marketing system but also the agriculture system to improve the quality of the vegetables.

Last year Emmanuel Piñol claimed that the tropical depression Usman is the reason behind the failure of the farmers to sell their vegetables through his Facebook post on January 10, 2019. This made him order a compensation for the farmers. He also assured the farmers that the admistration of President Duterte listen to the voices of farmers and fishermen. If it's truly the calamity is the reason behind the farmers' failure to sell their vegetables, then I would suggest a fund from the government for the highland farmers in cases of calamities or for the better a law that protects the highland farmers which also recommend to the Filipinos to accept local produce products rather than imports. The post of Emmanuel Piñol is really admirable because it shows that the Philippine government has concern for the highland farmers and aware of what is happening to them but the fact that they're aware yet unable to respond is a total ignore.

A new system is needed for the highland farmers for better production and transactions. It will not be loss to the Philippine government, rather a great asset and they should be nourishing what is already on their grasp because it might go away. Farming is a part of the lives of the Cordillera but if the low price will continue they might find another occupation to sustain their lives and give up farming. This is a possibility so if it happens, would the Philippines prefer an import? If yes then I think the supply of import will not meet the demands and that is another problem.

Emmanuel Piñol. (2019, January 10) Government to Compensate Cordillera Veggie Farmers.ñol

Aimee Hampel-Milagrosa. (2001, January). Marketing of Vegetable in the Cordillera Region: A Transaction Cost Analysis.

Message to Readers

This is actually my second draft. I know it's not the best but pls. bare with it.. Comments for improvement is accepted. God Bless!!

Peer Review

Your personal connection and obvious familiarity and ease with the topic of your op-ed draws me into your writing and makes me want to continue reading. Additionally, your writing communicates how much this topic matters to you, which makes reading your piece passionate and compelling.

Farmers from the highlands of Cordillera in the Philippines are harmed by the current trading system and should receive government support to ensure fairer prices for their crops.

You make use of multiple statics, all of which support your main argument. However, I was most compelled by the glimpse of an anecdote that you incorporated into your writing when you wrote about how having farmers as parents affected your life.

This writing would benefit from the addition of an anecdote expanding upon how this issue has affected your personally. An anecdote would allow readers to connect further with you and your writing and would draw them further into your topic. An even more effective way to do this, which you have already begun doing, would be to use a statistic in combination with an anecdote. Introducing an argument with a personal experience and then reinforcing it with facts would be an effective and creative way to convince readers further.

Your personal voice and passion really shine through with this piece - keep going and showcase what makes your writing unique. Your writing shows your passion for and familiarity with your topic, so, with perseverance, I am sure that this piece will go a long way.

Reviewer Comments

Your ideas and arguments, as well as your evidence, are crystal clear, but they are sometimes interrupted by small grammatical or spelling mistakes. Try reading through your piece while looking specifically for these; fixing these minor errors will improve the flow of your writing and allow your ideas to shine through. Finally, best of luck writing! It has been a honor reviewing your work, and I can't wait to see how your final piece turns out!