DA prioritizes food production increase

Author: DA-AFID | 26 July 2022

As the country’s main force for agricultural development and food production, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been instructed by the President and Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to prioritize the formulation and implementation of various approaches to increase and stabilize the production of food in the Philippines.

Undersecretary for Operations and Chief-of-Staff Leocadio Sebastian shared during the DA’s flag-raising ceremony last July 25 that the President ordered the finalization of the operational plan for the Department’s catch-up activities, which is expected to enhance the production and lower the market prices of rice, corn, vegetables, livestock, poultry, and fisheries.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) previously reported that the Philippine inflation rate for June 2022 reached 6.1%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed 58.3% to the inflation uptrend.

Food inflation for the same month also increased to 6.4% from its May 2022 record of 5.2%. This is higher than its 2021 counterpart, which only had a food inflation rate of 3.9%.

“The acceleration in the food inflation was primarily influenced by the higher annual growth in the meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals index at 8.1 percent. Also contributing to the uptrend in the food inflation was [the] fruits and nuts food group which registered an inflation rate of 1.1 percent, from -2.4 percent in the previous month. The rest of the food groups exhibited faster annual growth rates, except for [the] vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas[,] and pulses food group which registered a lower inflation of 14.4 percent,” read the PSA report.

With the incoming wet season posing a threat to the agriculture and fisheries sector, Usec. Sebastian clarifies that the country has sufficient rice for all Filipinos.

Additional inorganic fertilizer procurement—via government-to-government (G2G) approach are also being studied to potentially negate the high prices of farm input due to the Ukraine crisis.

Meanwhile, Usec. Sebastian also reminded the DA family to be more effective and efficient in serving our farmers and fisherfolk, especially now that the country is facing the looming food crisis.

“Let’s do our work, and let’s do it as best as possible in the coming months kasi kailangan tayo ng ating mga magsasaka at fisherfolk,” he expressed. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)

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