Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

DA invests P2.2B in SUCs for outputs to benefit agri sector

Author: DA Communications Group | 26 May 2022

To scale up agricultural production, the Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), has allocated an average of P446 million yearly to state universities and colleges (SUCs) to support their research for development, technology commercialization, research facilities, and scholarships starting 2017.

“This is not the first time we are doing this, but we need more output and convincing outcomes arising from these investments. Please keep elevating your game,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar urged the SUC officials attending the Inclusive Innovation Conference on May 25, 2022.

As a keynote speaker during the conference organized by the Department of Trade and Industry among innovation champions and leaders in government, academe, and industry, Secretary Dar took the opportunity to give a warning on an impending food crisis.

The agri chief particularly discussed how the SUCs can help DA and the country face the existing and upcoming challenges to national food security as more difficult times will come.

“Given all these challenges, there should be increased pressure on agricultural leadership to up the ante on government interventions. Our SUCs have to be at the forefront of the fight, not in the over-intellectualized fringes,” Secretary Dar said.

He added that the burning issues should force educational institutions to dig deep and internalize their roles in the food security effort given that SUCs are “the host of the very movers of national development.”

“You must blaze the trail in never-before breached frontiers of science, innovation, and technology, with the resources at your disposal: your vast tracts of land not just as experimental fields but also as food hubs in themselves,” the agri chief stressed.

According to the secretary, main innovations could lie in the simplest transformations such as the expansion of the SUCs’ roles in the community.

Secretary Dar said that if the host provinces and communities of the SUCs are clueless about the successes of their research, then it counts for nothing. Thus, the SUCs’ impacts in the provinces can serve as a measure of their relevance.

“Academic excellence is not enough. Latent relevance is not enough. You must also have the will to be relevant and to fight for impact,” he reminded. (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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