Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Agri stakeholders meet Sec. Dar for plans on key commodities

Author: DA Communications Group | 12 May 2022

The chairpersons of the National Banner Program Committees (NBPCs) and Other Priority Program Committees (OPPCs) under the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) met with Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar to discuss major agri-fishery concerns and priority programs on May 11, 2022.

“We recognize all your engagements from the private sector and civil society organizations, at kailangan na kailangan po ang partnership ninyo with the Department of Agriculture (DA). I would like to emphasize that we are not against partnerships or consultative processes. It is always a good practice,” Secretary Dar stressed during the roundtable meeting.

The private sector stakeholders representing the PCAF program committees on rice, poultry, livestock and corn, coconut, high-value crops (HVC), fisheries and aquaculture, climate change, environment, and natural resources presented to Secretary Dar their recommendations to improve the productivity and profitability of the sector.

These include the development of vaccine against the African Swine Fever, exploring fertilizer alternatives, updating of commodity roadmaps, participatory assessment of the Rice Tariffication Law, review of importation policies, and establishment of postharvest and processing facilities, among others.

While acknowledging the stakeholders’ advice, Secretary Dar reassured the body that the DA is “silently working for the good of the industry and for the good of the farmers and fishers.”

“Ako po ay nandito na tutulong sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda at sana sama-sama po tayong lahat, yung kagaya ng mga liders ng mga farmers’ associations, the civil society. Consultation is a must, but at the end of the day, we need to distill all these and have the best decision for the country,” the agri chief said.

During the meeting, he also reported the Duterte legacy for the Philippine agri-fishery sector and presented strategies to aid the country survive the brewing food crisis.

Moreover, Secretary Dar highlighted the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP), which is a ten-year strategic plan that is a product of multi-sectoral consultations and the whole-of-nation approach. He said that the NAFMIP, with its proposed budget of P250 billion per year, is a legacy and a very detailed strategic plan that can be the guide for the next administration.

“There is global disruption of food supply chain. The new leadership is given this challenge and one thing to highlight here is there must be political will to produce as much as we could in the country. The leadership of the BBM presidency will have that political will to give topmost priority to the sector of agriculture and allocate significant budget support,” he added.

The roundtable meeting was participated by Assistant Secretary for Regulations Liza Battad, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes, Rice NBPC Chair Hazel Tanchuling, Poultry, Livestock, and Corn NBPC Chair Arnulfo Frontuna, HVC-Rubber NBPC Chair Alfonso Jack Sandique, and HVC-Coffee and Cacao NBPC Chair David Santos.

HVC-Fruits and Vegetables NBPC Chair Ramon Marañon, Climate Change, Environment, and Natural Resources OPPC Chair Marita Rodriguez, Fisheries and Aquaculture NBPC Chair Dinna Umengan, HVC-Fiber Crops NBPC Chair Michael Edward Claparols, and Coconut NBPC Chair Charles Avila also attended the meeting. ### (Gumamela Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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