Sunday, December 6, 2009

Conclusion: The end of mass poverty in the Philippines
One can deduce the happy events once the industries described come to full operation:
(1) All working-age Philippine poor get high-paying jobs, qualify for LME loans and help set up more joint ventures. Slum dwellers spread out to good jobs in the provinces where they rise to the middle classes, afford good education, qualify for LME loans, and help set up more co-ops and joint ventures all over the tropics.
(2) Every Filipino employee becomes owner of a stack of corporate shares and bonds that earn dividends and interest and rises in value over the years.
(3) Domestic production multiplying 20 times or more raises tax income to stratospheric levels. The government manages to repay all its old loans which currently consume a huge chunk of tax proceeds for interest alone. Repayment of old loans qualifies the government to sell billions of dollars in new bonds worldwide, most proceeds to be lent out to LME-type joint ventures.
(4) Mass entrepreneurship as culture pervades Philippine schools and universities. Currently 66% of Filipinos are Elementary level. As one may notice, most industries previously described are geared towards employment of all such unschooled, given a little on-the-job training. In effect, the schemes target creation of good-paying jobs for the bottom poor. Hunger, malnutrition, inability to afford health care and education, and other sufferings of the bottom poor become a mere chapter of Philippine history.
(5) Over 54 million of the current bottom poor who ultimately get good paying rural jobs become a massive market for all manner of consumer goods. Manufacturers of such goods become markets for producer goods, mainly factory machines from industrial countries. Philippine industry expands to 1st World levels, especially when mass-owned companies spread out all over the tropics.
(6) The culture of mass entrepreneurship prevailing within Philippine society encourages companies to give incentives to unschooled employees to study to university and doctorate level. Since most of the companies are rural, internet education, roving teachers and rural laboratories become standard. Subjects on mass entrepreneurship form basic lessons. History subjects dwell on the activities of traders, inventors, innovators, financing companies and operators of corporate groups, not on kings and politicians as usual. Student teams are required to specialize in the sciences and form invention and innovation teams. Basic requirement for college graduation is the ability of student teams to develop at least five technologies that they license to joint ventures. The scheme makes millionaires of teams, and develops a habit of invention and innovation among the masses. Consequently, joint venture ideas perpetually flow among the working masses as large entrepreneurial groups. World-scale mass entrepreneurship as permanent culture makes sure that the masses never revert to poverty.
Let the battles begin!

13) Sixth LME industry: Marine aquacultures. An LME type joint venture leases 3,000 hectares of Philippine sea shallows and installs artificial reefs upon the bottoms. Artificial reefs are thin concrete tubes tied onto pyramidal frames that rise six to ten meters above the sea bottom. The reefs become home to thick populations of all manner of fishes, crustaceans, bivalves and other sea creatures. The innumerable crevices within the artificial reefs becomes hiding places for all species, enabling all young to survive predators from a low of 1% in nature to up to 20% with copious artificial reefs. This means tons of seafood ingredients and millions of dollars in export sales for the joint venture. The foreign partner (Japanese, Korean, Coastal Chinese, Western) provides the bank contacts that finances work boats, refrigeration and fish processing facilities, submerged cages, breeding facilities, diving equipment, and other necessities. A third of artificial reefs must be considered breeding reserve, never to be harvested. Only dive tourists may be allowed onto the reserves. If most of the Philippines’ 200 million hectares of seas become aquaculture farms with diving resorts, tens of billions of dollars will add to the Philippine masses’ wealth on monthly basis.
14) Seventh LME industry: mini-hydropower plants. The Philippines has 130 major rivers all fed by upland streams that flow from mountains averaging 1,500 meters in height. Most of the streams dry up during the dry season because the mountains are mostly bald. An LME type joint venture may lease an upland area with a stream net and reforest the entire area to ensure year-round water for the streams. A chain of watersheds with mini-dams may thence be built to generate megawatt-level electric power. Power gets sold to the rising number of rural industries previously described. Since it takes years to reforest bald uplands, the joint venture may set up a livestock project as previously described to earn short term income. Multiply this scheme several hundred times all over Southeast Asia (which has thousands of rivers) and we employ millions of Asian poor. The power chains will tend to create rural industries in a region where 40-60% of populations crowd into cities. Obviously the Philippine masses who start and manage such industries will gain billions of dollars monthly.
15) Eighth LME industry: manufacture of machinery parts. The Philippines has over 200 million metric tons of nickel and chromate reserves, and around two billion tons of copper reserves. A little nickel and chromate added to low-priced imported carbon steel produces high-priced stainless steel and alloy steels that can be shaped into all manner of machinery parts. Additionally, copper production can be converted into wires that are the principal parts of electric motors, which powers all types of factory machines, elevators, and escalators. LME-type joint ventures may set up such industries. Partners may be 1st World manufacturers of electric furnaces, factory machinery, mini steel mills, and ore processing equipment. Of course the industries will channel more billions of dollars monthly to the Philippine employee masses.
16) Ninth to nth LME industries may be set up by 30,000 Philippine employee groups of 1,000+ members each (including Filipinos abroad) and their foreign joint venture partners. 30 million entrepreneurial brains and their allies should create endless ideas which the same brains as groups may implement at great profit for themselves and the resultant employed masses. The end result: perpetual flow of wealth among the Philippine masses.

8) First LME industry for thousand-member employee groups: ethanol distilleries with sweet sorghum plantations. According to Brazilian experience, an ethanol distillery fed by sugarcane profits at an astonishing 80% of sales! Since sweet sorghum is sweeter than sugar cane and can be cropped twice or thrice a year thru ratooning (sugarcane harvests occur only once a year), Philippine sweet sorghum-fed distilleries will tend to have even higher profit margins than those of Brazil. Markets are no problem. E75 fuel (75% ethanol, 25% gasoline) can be priced at less than half that of pure gasoline, a boon to local transport industries. A 40,000 liters-per-day ethanol distillery with sweet sorghum plantation requires around $10 million in capital. LME funds required is only $2.5 million (in peso equivalent). The foreign partner contributes another $2.5 million. Equipment manufacturers’ banks or foreign government banks may supply $5 million in distillery equipment loans. This arrangement enables the Philippine employee mass to set up hundreds of distilleries all over the Philippines, with expansion plans all over the tropics. This industry when mature can yield billions of dollars in monthly salaries and dividends to the Philippine employee masses.
9) Second LME industry: manufacture of Ethanol-powered engines (E75) to replace carbon-spewing gasoline and diesel engines in local land and sea transports. Employee group joint ventures may set up the factories plus hundreds of transport service companies (buses, taxis, cars for hire, cargo trucks, boats and launches) all over Southeast Asia. This industry once mature can add more billions of dollars monthly to the Philippine masses.
10) Third LME industry: managed forests with livestock feedlots. Many species of forest trees have leaves that contain 20% protein. Same with leguminous grasses. Such leaves and grasses may replace the expensive protein sources (soybean meal, fish meal and bone meal) in commercial feeds. Local sourcing also prevents expensive transport and preservation, another cost cutter. An employee union of several thousand members may lease a thousand hectares of bald uplands and convert 80% of area to forest and 20% to paddocks, feedlots, leguminous grasslands and corn/sorghum croplands. The farm targets raising of mixed breed goats, cattle, sheep, pigs, and fowls by the thousands. The livestock yields short-term income as forest trees grow. Over the long run, the forests produce woods, bamboo and rattan for lumber, paper and furniture, tons of fruits, honey, mushrooms, orchids, ornamental plants, drug ingredients, etc. Restaurateurs and food processors from Coastal Asia may partner with the locals and engage in contract production of food and drug ingredients. The scheme may be expanded by the employee unions throughout the tropics not only for job and wealth creation for the poor but also to help diminish global warming on massive scale. Tropics-wide operation of such managed forests and livestock farms adds more billions of dollars monthly to the Philippine employee mass.
11) Fourth LME industry: Tour boat fleets. World companies engaged in travel, tours, and resort development may partner with local LME beneficiary groups to set up tour boat fleets. A fleet may be composed of ten or so trawler-type boats, recreational boats, converted ferries and yachts, plus marine sports equipment. Yachting groups in the USA and Europe may partner with the local groups as well. The ethanol engine producers may install E75 engines to the boats to reduce fuel costs by more than half. Low-priced tours should attract millions of tourists. The fleets may tour all coastal resorts throughout Southeast Asia. Such fleets should add more billions of dollars monthly to the Philippine employee mass.
12) Fifth LME industry: Forest resorts. LME-type joint ventures may lease thousand-hectare bald island areas in Southeast Asia and convert them into forest resorts with ‘flowery cliff’ camouflaged hotels, inns, vacation and retirement condos, commercial buildings and sports facilities. The camouflage makes the resort ‘disappear’ into the forest, thereby attracting millions of tourists who want both unspoiled nature reserves and the latest living comforts of a ‘hidden city’. The role of forest resorts in reducing global warming plus tourist dollars coming in should persuade Southeast Asian governments to agree to thousand-hectare land leases for each joint venture. Resort construction and services at such scale should add more billions of dollars monthly to the Philippine employee mass.

These factors raise group retailing profits to 30-40% for crops, higher for groups who operate eateries, on year-round basis. All capital contributors may expect 10-20% dividends every quarter, higher at export stage. NGOs may consign their farms’ production to scores of slum families for retailing of low-priced rice, corn, fruits and vegetables, or retailing thru snack booths and eateries. Employee groups (co-op members) may similarly consign part of their farm harvests to retailing slum families who operate roving carts and food booths within the groups’ residential areas. High margins ensure good continuous incomes for said slum families. Workers in the coop paddocks, farm services teams, guard teams, and processing sections may come from the slums. The NGO may reward its donors with part of its farming income (coop dividends and 10-30% consignment profits), so donors may spread the word around and attract a lot more donations.

Out of these visions logically emanate our Farms for Slums objectives:
1) Sell all our friends, relatives and acquaintances to the Farms for Slums plan as previously described.
2) Form our relatives and friends into groups that establish one or several farms as above described. High earning group members and relatives of Filipinos working abroad are expected to contribute more. Employee members may contribute part of savings or acquire low interest salary loans from SSS, GSIS, credit unions, state banks or other sources.
3) Campaign vigorously to popularize our Farms for Slums plan among 30 million Filipino employees and micro-entrepreneurs, plus Filipino groups abroad. Each group member may contact his relatives and friends (down to Elementary School level) and sell them all to the Farms for Slums plan. Group contacts in mass media, the internet, associations and clubs are also a great help. Target: get the help of politicians (thru mass voting potential) for easy co-op access to state lending programs.
4) Campaign vigorously over the internet to get NGOs, charities and Filipino groups abroad into joining the Program and setting up their own 10-hectare farms. Local hard-up relatives or trusted contacts in the slums may be chosen as farm caretakers.
5) After proving our farms’ success, set up similar farms at double the area per group. Success may encourage group members who love farming to set up their own family farms. Ideal farm size for a family farm that assures permanent middle class income is twenty hectares, provided the farm is linked to a co-op that provides farm machines and facilities such as previously described.
6) The success of vanguard groups’ co-op farms should encourage a major portion of the Philippines’ over 30 million employees to set up copycat co-op farms. The happy result: all the country’s 18 million hectares of currently bald high-slope uplands planted to trees, thereby helping to reduce global warming. Low-slope farm areas planted to sorghum, corn, rice and vegetables can also absorb tons of atmospheric carbon. Continuous planting of row crops thru strip cropping and foliar fertilization (which prevents soil degradation) ensure year-round greenery which absorbs tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per second.
7) Campaign vigorously among 30 million working masses and their families to pressure politicians (thru mass voting potential) into passing and promulgating a Loans for Mass Entrepreneurship Law. An LME law channels ten percent of taxes and state bonds (over P150 billion yearly) towards lending to joint ventures set up by thousand-employee groups and their foreign partners. The joint ventures must establish what shall become world-class companies selling planet-wide. Possible world-class industries arising from the LME law follow.

(9) Each farm plants its five-hectare upland area into a random mix of bananas, hardwoods, softwoods, tapioca, Tricanthera and other high protein trees for livestock feed, cacao and cocoa, cashew, bamboo, rattan, anahaw, rambutan, macapuno coconut, longkan, jackfruit, star apple, lanzones, blackberries and forest berries, Indian mango, carabao mango, guyabano, avocado, ubi, fruit palms, chico, santol, guavas, mangosteen, macopa and other fruit trees. Randomly arranged trees of mixed species help control plant diseases and promise year-round harvests when the trees mature. Between the trees the farm installs honeybee colony boxes and mushroom shacks. Onto branches and trunks the farm grows orchids, bromeliads and other ornamental plants.
(10) After the first harvests of row crops, the group farm uses co-op loans and proceeds from sales of rice, corn and vegetables to buy the following starter livestock: (a) 1,000 range chicken pullets, (b) 500 duck pullets, (c) 2,000 quail layer pullets, (d) 20 mixed breed piglets, (e) 10 native breeder pigs (to be artificially inseminated), (f) 10 native goats (for artificial insemination), (g) 6 turkey pullets, (h) 10 sheep breeders, (i) if local governments have a cattle dispersal program, each farm gets one or two cattle or water buffaloes (for milking).
(11) The farms entrust half their livestock to co-op paddocks, feedlots and sheds to cut risks from robbery and as part of preventive medicine procedures. A veterinarian and an animal husbandry expert acts as consultants. A paddock manager and laborers manage the feedlots.
(12) The group farm uses its stock of rice grain wastes, ground corn and sorghum, salt, shellfish lime, plus harvested high protein tree leaves, vitamin mineral premix and sweet sorghum juice or syrup to formulate feeds for its livestock. The coop’s animal husbandry consultant advises on proper mixes. By using such home-grown ingredients, the farm brings down feed costs to a mere 20% of commercial feed prices. Since feeds comprise 80% of regular livestock farm costs, the group farm manages to earn large profit margins out of their livestock while using organic feeds (no chemical preservatives).
(13) As the group farms begin their livestock raising operations, the co-op sets up its processing facilities as follows: (a) Meat Processing Section to produce refrigerated cuts of chicken, pigs, sheep and goats, plus sausages, hams, smoked duck, pre-cooked meats for food ingredients, and flavored, ready to roast barbecues (pork and chicken), (b) Brown Sugar Section to mill part of farms’ sweet sorghum harvest and convert the juice into brown (muscovado) sugar and syrup.
(14) As the farms’ fruit trees mature, the coop sets up its Fruit Processing Section to produce anti-oxidant syrups (from forest berries), fruit juices, candied fruits, purees and fruit cocktail (canning contracted out), jams, berry wines, and regional sweets. Basic input is sweet sorghum syrup. The FP Section targets exportation of products to Hong Kong and Singapore where thousands of Filipina maids and cooks decide what meals to serve. Export products include flavored, ready to broil pork and chicken barbecues, hard boiled duck and quail eggs and pre-cooked meat cuts (ingredients for noodles and soups), pizza ingredients (mushrooms, sausages, cheese, chili), smoked duck and hams and processed dish ingredients contracted by Chinese restaurants.
(15) Groups of employees and their relatives (co-op members) who want to maximize their farm’s income sell their farms’ production on retail to scores of friends, co-workers, neighbors and local eateries. A major portion of harvests gets sold by cart retailers and food booth sellers from the slums. High profit margins are attained due to the following cost-cutting factors: (a) organic home-grown livestock feeds (80% savings); (b) use of foliar instead of basal fertilizer (60% savings) for all crops and trees; (c) use of organic pesticide out of local ingredients (40-60% savings); (d) rice hulls and corn cobs as crop dryer fuel (70% savings plus no grain losses from usual sun drying); (e) no marketing middlemen; (f) rice hull wastes as charcoal (70% profit); (g) milled sorghum stalks, corn and rice stover as fuel for brown sugar production (no fuel cost); (h) shared veterinary and agricultural experts’ fees (coop fees divided by 50 farms); (i) preventive medicine and expert care minimizing losses from livestock diseases; (j) low-cost food processing thru central co-op facilities; (k) upland rice species needing just 1/3 water compared to lowland rice, (l) low-cost water supply due to upland stream sourcing; (m) new breeds of range chicken as major livestock line don’t need expensive caging and feeding facilities. Mixed-breed chicken don’t easily fall prey to diseases. These help bring down farm costs; (n) Mixed breeds of pigs and goats are not prone to diseases either, and require mere inexpensive bamboo sheds for shelter, another cost-cutting factor; (o) The farm grows its own bamboos and woods, which means ‘free’ building materials for farm sheds and cottages, another cost-cutting feature; (p) home-grown (low-cost) sweet sorghum syrup as basic ingredient for fruit juices, health drinks, candied fruits and regional sweets lowers farmgate prices of such export items, hence maximizes profit margins.

Time for anti-poverty ACTION! Here are our first battlegrounds: Manila slums and Philippine provincial uplands. First let us form our vision:
(1) Families, clans, barkadas (close friends) as 50 groups of 10-50 members per group plan to form one cooperative to set up multi-crop, multi-livestock farms at ten hectares per group. Group members are employees, market stallholders, public transport drivers, overseas Filipinos’ relatives and micro-entrepreneurs. Relatives and friends as one group creates critical trust for quick capitalization of the farms. The group picks a caretaker family from among relatives or friends in need, or among trusted slum families.
(2) Group members contribute P1,000-P20,000 each to raise P100,000 capital for a ten-hectare farm. For local employees, savings and loans from the SSS, GSIS and credit unions help form capital contributions. The group’s elected Treasurer handles the money until target amount is reached.
(3) NGOs and charities set aside part of donations to finance their own ten-hectare farms, and then link up with coops described. An NGO or charity may ultimately set up and operate as many as 20 farms of ten hectares each in several provinces, always with coops. Said farms’ beneficiaries (caretaker families, coop workers and farm guards, crop retailers, food booth sellers) come from slum families that NGOs and charities currently help.
(4) Once the 50 groups raise their P5 million capital, they elect officers, register a coop, and pool their capital into one coop bank account. Pooled capital is necessary to acquire loans. Thereafter the coop hires agribusiness experts to conduct farm systems design and feasibility studies, and leases 500 hectares of uplands from state. The coop uses the lease and studies to get a P5 million state loan, payable 20 years. The loan finances coop purchase of farm machines and processing equipment as follows: hand tractors, rice harvester, crop dryer fueled by rice hulls and corn cobs, mini rice and corn mill, corn shellers, irrigation equipment, brush cutters, rice hull charcoal-making equipment, brown sugar production equipment, and facilities for processing of meats, fruit juices and sweets. The equipment are purchased in stages based on production and marketing needs.
(5) The coop provides water supply services by damming upland streams and installing underground PVC pipes from the dams and towards each farm. Water meters monitor water use. All dams, watersheds and feeder streams get heavily reforested to make sure waters flow year-round to the farms.
(6) To each group farm, the coop lends production facilities and farming tools as follows: bamboo cottage with bamboo beds and furniture, gas lanterns and kitchen utensils, backpack sprayer, shovel, pick, axe, water hose and spray head set, machete, hoe, trowel, steel rod digger, hole digger, hammer, saw, and other farm tools. The coop also provides the caretaker family with four months’ supply of rice, groceries, kerosene and cash allowance. All are payable to the coop within one year.
(7) The coop lends to each group farm the following farm services: brush cutting, plowing and rotavator cultivation, team labor for planting crops and trees, weeding, harvest, drying, and milling of rice, corn and sorghum. Loans are payable after sale of harvest. In this manner, each ten-hectare farm ‘acquires’ cost-cutting farm machines, irrigation equipment, and team labor without the financier group investing additional millions of pesos. Before the first harvests and thereafter, the coop provides teams of police-deputized guards with motorbikes and dogs for service all over the 500-hectare combined farms.
(8) The coop’s upland leases are low slope and high slope areas. To make sure all group farms produce a mix of row crops and forest/fruit trees, the coop splits each farm into 5 hectares of low slope and 5 hectares of high slope. The separate plots may be in different locations. The low slope area gets planted to upland rice (2 hectares) and one hectare each of corn, sorghum and vegetables/fruits (melons, papaya, pineapple, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, peanuts, potatoes, etc.) based on local climatic and soil conditions. Contour cultivation, strip cropping and mulching preserves and enriches the topsoil.