Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

“Be fast, and efficient” – Dar

Author: DA Press Office | 30 March 2022

Guided by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s vision of a modern and industrialized agriculture sector, capable of adequately feeding more than 110 million Filipinos and counting, Agriculture Secretary William Dar urged the “OneDA Family” agencies to actively participate in government’s efforts to attain food sovereignty.

“As we’re nearing the end of our term, please be reminded that there is still a long way to go, and it’s not the time to be complacent,” Dar said during Day 2 of the 2022 1st Quarter Management Committee meeting in Iloilo City.

He thanked everyone for their efforts in realizing the national agenda during the Duterte Administration specifically focused on “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”.

“Inefficiency will cost lives, especially in the coming food crisis,” he said stressing that the global crisis caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine may result in disruption in production and distribution of food items.

“Fuel prices are already crippling some of our farmers and fishers,” he said adding that if the mitigation measures are not executed on time may result in insufficient yield.

The agri chief underscored that the current global dilemma may affect all the sectors in the food value chain.

“Let us see to it that subsidies are distributed straight away, without delay,” he said.

Aside from the disruptions caused by the threat of the Russia/Ukraine dispute, the Philippine agri sector continues to face risks due to the pandemic, high price of fertilizers, natural calamities as well as human-imposed obstacles such as illegal smuggling.

According to the Secretary despite the strengthened partnership between DA and the Bureau of Customs, smugglers have continued to persist with their illegal activities, affecting the livelihood of small farmers and fishers.

“This is why I am intolerant of slowness and inefficiency, as I believe that we must be the vector of change, and keep up through our researches and technologies. We must act now, fast,” he said.

Dar emphasized that the One DA’s swiftness to act right now will set the stage for the DA’s vision of food sovereignty, conditioned on an industrialized export-oriented agri-fishery sector no longer worried about feeding the hungry, but its greater contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.

Thus, he enjoined everyone to participate fully in the execution of the Plant, Plant, Plant Program Part 2, adding that the first phase of the program has been instrumental in securing food stability for the Filipinos during the height of the pandemic.

The Secretary added that while pursuing food security, DA as a united agency must level up its actions to attain a more lasting supply of food.

“For now, our concern is to provide for the current needs of the Filipinos, but we must look beyond that. Food security is attained from a position of need. Food sovereignty is attained from a position of power,” he said.

Dar added that food sovereignty goes further putting farmers and fishers in a position of control, autonomy, resource self-reliance, and competitiveness.

Looking beyond the success of present times, Dar hopes that the next administration not only inherits the fruits of hardwork of the current management but continues the fight for the local food sector to attain food sovereignty for everyone. ### (Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID)

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