Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA, FAO meet to boost PH-FAO alliance

Author: DA Press Office | 23 February 2024

How to boost and strengthen the Philippines’ agrifood systems was the main agenda during top level discussions between Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. and Dr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The two officials recently held bilateral talks in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the sidelines of the High-level Ministerial Session of the 37th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, FAO’s highest governing body at the regional level.

APRC guides FAO in ensuring the effectiveness of its regional work in the service of its Member States. APRC will define priority work areas for 2026-2027. The Philippines is one of the 34 founding Members of the FAO, which was established in 1945.

In the bilateral meeting, FAO Dongyu cited the Philippines’ aquaculture sector as a promising industry that could help provide decent livelihood, improve food security and nutrition, and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Sec. Tiu Laurel welcomed FAO’s support for the aquaculture sector and recognized efforts of the FAO’s Philippines country team in supporting government’s plan to achieve food security through emergency assistance, including improvements in agricultural and fisheries productivity and resilience, among other interventions.

The Secretary also commended the leadership and persistence of FAO’s Representative in the Philippines, Dr. Lionel Dabbadie, as he closely coordinates with the Philippine government and various stakeholders to help foster alignment and complementation of FAO in-country initiatives with national priorities and in addressing pressing issues affecting the country’s agri-fishery sector.

“We value a strong FAO Country Office in the Philippines with the FAO Headquarters’ continued full support, including technical cooperation programs. We would also appreciate continued assistance for the successful implementation of the Green Climate Fund project for the Philippines,” Tiu Laurel added.

The DA chief and FAO Director-General also discussed strategies for boosting rice productivity in the Philippines, including use of improved and resilient rice varieties in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute and local government units.

The roles of technology, innovation, equipment, mechanization, and digitalization in accelerating the transformation of the country’s agri-food system into a more sustainable, resilient, prosperous, and inclusive sector were also highlighted by the two leaders.

Sec. Tiu Laurel was accompanied by Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Alvin John Balagbag, the Philippines’ two Deputy Permanent Representatives to FAO in Rome, namely, Deputy Chief of Mission Nina Cainglet and Agriculture Attaché Dr. Josyline Javelosa, along with staff members from the Department of Agriculture.

FAO DG was joined by the Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific Assistant Director General Jong-Jin Kim, the Country Representative in the Philippines, Dr. Lionel Dabbadie, Chief Economist Dr. Maximo Torrero, the Director of Cabinet Godfrey Magwenzi, along with staff members from the DG’s office. ###

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