Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Agri chief wants Soils Bureau to massively showcase developed technologies

Author: DA Communications Group | 7 June 2022

As the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) celebrates its 71st anniversary, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar recognized the bureau’s achievements and challenged the agency to promote in a big way the technologies it developed through the years.

“We stand at the birth of a new era. As commercialization and modernization of the Philippine agriculture sector continues to increase, our nation’s boundless future will be built upon the success of agencies like the BSWM,” Secretary Dar said during the event on June 7, 2022.

In his message, the agri chief stressed that the main source of food production still comes from healthy soil, and explained that ensuring the sustainable management of soil and water resources is critical.

With the increase in prices of agricultural inputs and the looming food crisis, Secretary Dar said that the DA widely advocates the Balanced Fertilization Strategy or the combination of the use of chemical fertilizer, organic fertilizer, and biofertilizer.

“If not properly attended to, then this (food crisis) may happen right here in our footsteps. But we still have time to make it possible that we don’t have this kind of situation in the country and that’s why we have set forth the balance fertilization strategy in place,” the agri chief said.

Secretary Dar also directed the BSWM to upscale all the technologies it has developed to contribute to ensuring the country’s food security.

“I would like you (the BSWM and its stations nationwide) to showcase everything. Massively use balanced fertilization, good water management. Lahat iyan, showcase in a big way not only in the station, but the surrounding barangays or the municipalities where you are located,” he said.

The secretary added that the bureau must wisely use its budget and realign if necessary to make the upscaling of technologies possible.

During the BSWM anniversary celebration with the theme, “Malusog na Lupa at Tubig na Sagana Tungo sa Progresibong Agrikultura,” the bureau also launched the Soil Health Card, which is one of the outputs of the National Soil Health Program that started two years ago.

The program involves a comprehensive, complete, and detailed monitoring card containing digital information on major chemical, physical, and biological parameters indicating soil health across farmlands. The card will be distributed to farmers and technicians nationwide to promote sustainable use of soil.

“Kailangang kailangan po yan, because we would like the farmers to be modern and technology and innovation savvy. Once he has that mindset, cultivating, understanding the new modern technologies and innovations, then that will bring him to being more productive, more profitable, more competitive and resilient. Yun po ang pakay natin para sa ating farmers,” Secretary Dar said.

In addition, he asked the BSWM to encourage investments and technical cooperation, promote more precise soil research to enhance the quality of soil data, and synchronize methods, measurements, and indicators for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources.

“I am confident that you will continue your good work as we strive to serve our farmers – and the Filipino people – in the months and years ahead,” Secretary Dar told the BSWM family. (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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