THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Manila Times Online Forum (Mar. 25, 2021)

Author: DA Communications Group | 26 March 2021

Agriculture Secretary William Dar served as keynote speaker during the online forum of The Manila Times, “Prospects of Agriculture beyond the Covid pandemic” on March 25, 2021.

“The world has changed tremendously as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.  Food security concern has not been spared from the pandemic, and the fight against COVID-19 continues.  It is now leading us into the new world, a new environment, a new normal,” said Secretary Dar.

From a global perspective, the agri chief talked about the impacts of Covid-19 in agriculture including the disruptions in food supply due to logistical challenges within the supply chains.

“With the GCQ even now in the NCR Plus, we are monitoring the movement of food supplies particularly those coming from other provinces,” he said. He cited labor shortages, reduction in job quality, food wastage, affected livelihoods of millions of workers, and price spikes are also major impacts of the pandemic.

“In spite of the pandemic, African Swine Fever (ASF), and other agricultural issues, DA with more investments and budgetary support, and proper implementation of programs and projects, we can have a positive growth this year.  With all the DA’s key strategies properly done, we are hoping to achieve a 2021 target growth of 2.5% and of course with that vision of food secure and resilient Philippines with empowered and prosperous farmers and fisherfolk”, Dar added.

The DA continues to implement its Plant Plant Plant Program, an all-encompassing program for crops, livestock, poultry, and fisheries, to increase food sufficiency levels.  Secretary Dar also mentioned the Food systems policy Shifts based on the department’s new food security framework.  Under the DA’s “Transforming Philippine Agriculture, One DA Agenda” framework, stakeholders including private sectors are encouraged to invest in agriculture.

Joining Secretary Dar in the forum were economic policy expert and University of Asia and the Pacific professor Dr. Bernardo Villegas, and University of the Philippines Los Baños Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho Jr. (Photo by Alan Jay Jacalan, DA-AFID)