Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Philippines and USA Bilateral Meeting (Jan. 26, 2022)

Author: DA Communications Group | 26 January 2022

Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar and United States Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava met on January 26, 2022, affirming the two countries’ intentions for the betterment of the Philippine agriculture sector.

During the virtual meeting, the Sec. Dar briefly shared to CDA Variava the four pillars of the reform agenda to consolidate, modernize, and industrialize the Philippine agriculture sector including initiatives for livestock, dairy, fisheries, among others.

Sec. Dar also highlighted the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) ongoing action to address the challenges brought by the pandemic, such as the enhanced Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program.

The agri chief also expressed his appreciation to the US government for their technical assistance particularly in the areas of biotechnology, food safety, ASF management and control.

In particular, Sec. Dar emphasized the urgent need to mobilize necessary resources to undertake critical measures to address spread of ASF such as leveling-up existing diagnostic laboratories while stressing the importance of research in the livestock industry.

Citing damages of the Typhoon Odette to the local agri-fishery sector, the secretary expressed the need for assistance to affected farmers and fishers.

He also encouraged the renewal of the US General System of Preferences of the Philippines as it helps the Philippines attract investments, create new industries and new jobs and encourage supply chain resiliency.

He also shared and invited US investors to invest into coco chips and coco board manufacturing and seafood processing and canning in the Philippines.

With a number of agricultural partnerships between the two countries, Variava affirmed that US programs are in place to support and complement the Philippines’ undertakings in agriculture sector.

Sec. Dar, in turn, conveyed gratitude and committed to strengthen collaboration with its US counterparts. (Photo by Ardy Tompong, DA-AFID)