Being invested in agriculture is not merely about the economy; it is also about food security. And that is certainly one aspect which the CNMI could be involved in, so it is not reliant on imported food. Yet less than 2% of the workforce on the island is involved in agriculture.
Which is why Ramon “RB” Camacho is lobbying to uplift the condition of farming on the islands. Camacho believes that there are a lot of people out there who are willing to be involved in agriculture and are just waiting for something to be developed.
“We have to be mindful…of food security,” said Camacho, who is the CNMI committee chair of the Farm Service Agency.
He said that FSA will be linking up with the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension & Educational Services and the Department of Agriculture to develop a recently-acquired property as a community garden.
Camacho strongly believes that by putting the community together, crimes could be prevented.
“We are going to start laying the foundation, putting the plans now, calling on the community in the area, and start working on the community garden,” Camacho said. “This will be a food garden for the community. It’s [going to] be free for everyone to come in.”
The development of the community garden also aims to reach out to the younger generation and teach them the importance of tilling the soil.
“I love to see farming expand. I [call on the community] to promote farming, fight for what is right for us. There is a benefit for each of us in the community if everyone takes farming seriously.”
According to American Farm Bureau Federation, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world in 2018.