THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Agri research centers to receive funding for enhanced tech development and extension

Author: DA Communications Group | 16 September 2020

Agriculture Secretary William Dar directed the upgrading of the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers (RIARCs) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) nationwide to launch the development of technology systems that would greatly improve Philippine agriculture.

“We need to capacitate you (RIARCs) in terms of good laboratories, facilities, and equipment so that you can do your job in research and translate research outputs into something that we can massively give out to the farming and fishing communities,” said Secretary Dar during the inauguration of the regional Technology Extension Center in Magalang, Pampanga on September 14.

The DA chief announced that the government will be allotting P50 million to upgrade each regional center’s capacity to do research and technology transfer.

The additional investment in RIARCs will be funded under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or “Bayanihan 2”.

The secretary added that what Senator Cynthia Villar calls as technology-based farming should now be applied to improve the agriculture sector’s productivity.

High-quality seeds or seedlings, even breeds for livestock and poultry, among other innovations could be developed and replicated through the RIARCs and the Research Outreach Stations (ROS) in every region to improve yield.

“I’m with Senator Villar in terms of really having to reorient the system that yes, technologies and innovations are the engines of growth for modern and industrialized agriculture,” Secretary Dar said.

He also announced that DA would like to partner with the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) for the establishment of precision and digital agriculture center that would showcase the future of Philippine agriculture.

“This will be an opportunity for innovation to continue so you need to adopt the newer precision and digital technologies under Philippine condition before they are scaled up,” he said.

He added that regular interaction between the DA’s research and operations group is also necessary to ensure that the programs and trainings to be implemented in the communities are technology-based or make use of technologies that improve productivity per unit area. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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