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DA taps state schools for food security policy research projects

Author: DA Communications Group | 27 January 2021

The Duterte administration is tapping state educational institutions to conduct research activities to help policymakers formulate better programs and initiatives toward achieving national food security.

In particular, the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently forged partnerships with 32 state universities and colleges (SUCs) to conduct research and data gathering that will generate updated field-level data and information, as well as create regional database on agricultural and rural development.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) and Batangas State University (BSU) President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, University of the Philippines through the National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) Project Team Leader Dr. Alex Brillantes, and other SUCs presidents during a virtual signing ceremony, on January 26, 2021. The ceremony was witnessed by DA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rodolfo Vicerra.

“You are here to properly present these measures to your constituents and other stakeholders. Kasama kayo sa gobyerno. Kasama kayo dito sa food security concerns ng Pilipinas,” the DA chief said.

In addition to the BSU and UP, the other SUCs are the:

  • Respective state universities in Benguet, Mariano Marcos, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, Cavite, Romblon, Palawan, Bicol, Catanduanes, Capiz, Nefros Oriental, Western Mindanao, Central Mindanao, Mindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Caraga;
  • Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, Pampanga State Agricultural University, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, Cebu Normal University, Leyte Normal University, University of Eastern Philippines, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology, Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology, University of Southeastern Philippines, University of Southern Mindanao, Surigao State College of Technology, and Sulu State College.

The collaboration is part of the initiatives of DA under its Agriculture Dialogue and Information Network Groups (ADING) program that aims to further strengthen and improve public trust and confidence in the Department.

“The agreement will enhance good governance, transparency, proper planning, designing, implementation of various programs and projects of DA,” Secretary Dar said.

“We have about P90 billion for this year and we will spend every peso properly to ensure food security in this country,” he added.

Under the partnership agreement, DA will provide funding support to SUCs for data and information gathering on the following:

  • Focus areas and conduct review and validation of Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and other farmers and fishermen’s databases;
  • Impact assessment of DA’s program on target communities and beneficiaries;
  • Analysis of technology utilization by farmer and fishermen in every region; and
  • Survey on current sources of funding for the production of activities of farmers and fishermen.

The UP-NCPAG will lead the development of sampling design, research protocol, and data collection instrument which will be used by other academe in conducting the research study.

Each SUC will receive P1.5-million funding support, while UP-NCPAG will receive P3 million from DA’s Bayanihan II allocation.

On behalf of the other SCUs, BSU president Ronquillo expressed their full commitment to help the DA by providing accurate and evidence-based research, and in other fields of expertise.

“We express our commitment to our very able SUCs that are strategically positioned in different regions and provinces in the country. I do believe that with the talents of our SUCs, we will be able to gather those information and field data,” he added. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)

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