THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

DA chief launches book of quotes, his aspirations for Phl agri 

Author: DA Communications Group | 2 September 2021

To serve as inspiration and motivation in attaining the shared vision and goals of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Secretary William Dar recently launched a book titled, “Bringing hope, winning hearts,” a compilation of quotes, containing his thoughts and aspirations for Philippine agriculture.

“Communication comes with the obligation of sharing to the world what we have learned and experienced, and what we continue to discover in the process. For us at the Department of Agriculture, there is a need to constantly communicate with the public not only to keep them informed on what we are doing, but also to enable them to understand why we are doing so. We want them to appreciate how we cope with and address current and emerging issues that affect their daily lives and the future of their children,” he said.

National Scientist Emil Q. Javier, in his message in the book, mentioned how it could serve as an inspiration, not just to national leaders and stakeholders, but also to the young people.

“It distills the many important lessons the author has learned over his forty years of engagement and service to agriculture…This should serve as inspiration in helping farmers earn a respectable living for themselves, while preserving the environment for the generations yet to come,” said Javier, who previously served as science minister and president of the University of the Philippines

Meanwhile, in his foreword, Dr. Cielito F. Habito — former NEDA chief and socio-economic planning secretary — said the appointment of Secretary Dar is one of the most welcome Cabinet appointments made by President Rodrigo Duterte, bringing back to a vital government department the competent technocratic leadership it has always needed.

“His leadership is a breath of fresh new air.  He came into office bringing the most credible promise of true change in a sector in need of new perspectives and approaches, particularly in its governance,” added Habito, who is currently a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University professor and director of its Center for Economic Research and Development.

For his part, former Philippine Rice Research Institute Director Dr. Santiago Obien said that Secretary Dar’s management style is not from training, but overflows from his mind and heart.

“He is more than the slogan he came up with. For agriculture, Willie Dar always means business,” added Obien, who continues to share his expertise as DA senior technical adviser.

In all, the 158-page publication contains secretary Dar’s nuggets of ideas, grouped according to the four pillars of the “OneDA Reform Agenda” to transform Philippine Agriculture, namely: consolidation, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization.

Other items include macro and micro crosscutting ideas, which include: food security, urban agriculture, soil health, balanced fertilization, needed investments in agriculture, transparency in governance and service, international partnerships, and pandemic-related pronouncements, among others.

“I hope this compilation serves as an inspiration for all readers and motivates us in our journey to attain our shared vision and goals, and more importantly bring hope to our people, and win the hearts of others, especially critics and skeptics,” Dar concluded.

The book, available in printed and electronic copy, was produced by the DA-OSEC Strategic Communications (StratComms) and Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (AFID), and published by the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)

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