CHINA offered to help President Rodrigo Duterte increase the country’s food production during his state visit to Beijing last week, a Cabinet official said.
“I heard very clearly during the bilateral talks that President Xi Jinping of China emphasized the willingness of the Chinese government to support the efforts of the Philippines government to produce more food for the people,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol told Palace reporters yesterday in his briefing .
Pinol welcomed the Chinese aid, pointing out it could help cut the post-harvest losses in both agriculture and fisheries.
About 40 percent of the country’s total fish catch is lost to spoilage due to lack of cold storage and ice production facilities while 16 percent of agricultural products suffer posts-harvest losses, Piñol said.
The official said he has asked the President for permission to hold exploratory talks with Chinese funding institutions that could fund farm-to-market roads, farming technology, fish landings and cold storage facilities.
Duterte got last week from China an estimated $24 billion in investment and loan pledges.
The world’s second largest economy also previously promised support for Manila’s bloody war on drugs, which has caused an outcry among the United States, United Nations, European Union and international human rights groups.