THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

DA, private sector join forces to increase food prod’n, incomes

Author: DA Communications Group | 29 January 2021

Consistent with the Duterte administration’s strategy to increase agri-fishery production and farmers’ incomes, the Department of Agriculture (DA) joined forces with an aggrupation of conscientious agri-based companies, in line with the IATF task group on food security and task force on zero hunger.

The members of the “Pilipinas Kontra Gutom” WorkStream 1, led by Aboitiz Group VP/Go Negosyo senior adviser for agripreneurship Ginggay Hontiveros, presented their programs and projects to be implemented this year to agriculture secretary William D. Dar, on January 27, 2021.

After their presentation, the DA chief simply said: “We are more than ready to work with you. Let’s do it!”

The “Pilipinas Kontra Gutom” is a national movement initiated by the IATF task force on zero hunger, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, with Secretary Dar as vice-chair. It is comprised of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies, whose main objective is to ensure the availability and accessibility of food, secure nutrition adequacy, and provide assistance to farmers and fisherfolk.

The private organizations and companies include: Aboitiz, Pilmico, Nestle Philippines, GoNegosyo, Cargill, Jollibee, Harbest, Unilever, Universal Robina Corp., Vitarich, Mcdonalds, Robinsons, Shoppee, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP), and United Nation Global Compact.

The “Pilipinas Kontra Gutom” focuses on four areas: market and financing access; policy advocacy; improving logistics; and education, aimed at elevating farming as a dignified and sustainable profession.

Each area is led by a team of professional, competent private sector implementers. To date, the group has identified 35,049 program beneficiaries, composed of farmers involved in the production of corn, vegetables, cacao, poultry, gilts, swine, coffee, potato, and sugarcane.

The group also pledges support to the “One DA” holistic approach that seeks to integrate efforts of the Duterte government and the private sector towards modernizing and industrializing the country’s agriculture and fishery sector.

“What we did was to identify the problems, and where the private sector can engage with the government to implement viable solutions,” Hontiveros said.

During the meeting, secretary Dar shared with the group the 2021 food sufficiency outlook for rice, corn, vegetables, livestock, poultry, and fisheries.

“I strongly admire the skills and expertise of the private sector, particularly the companies belonging to ‘Pilipinas Kontra Gutom,’ as you have the heart and compassion to lift our underprivileged countrymen from poverty and hunger,” Secretary Dar said. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)


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