Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Increased food production, agri modernization key thrusts of new DA chief 

Author: DA-AFID | 6 November 2023

Newly-appointed agriculture secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. today (06 November 2023) said his priority is to increase food production and modernize agriculture, a major pillar of the Philippine economy.

He said the marching order of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is to modernize agriculture so the country could be food secure, less dependent on imports and lift millions of farmers and fisherfolk out of poverty by the time his term ends.

Laurel said he plans to go around the country in the coming weeks to get a better grasp of the actual situation on ground.

Agriculture accounts for about 10 percent of the Philippine economy but employs one in every four Filipinos. Data show that more than 10 millions farmers and fisherfolk are poor and many of them are approaching their senior years, posing a  potential food crisis in the next decade.

“By modernizing the agriculture sector, we could make it a more profitable venture and attract a younger generation that would ensure the country’s food security in the decades to come,” Laurel said.

Asked whether rice production is the main priority of his department, Laurel said that while rice is the country’s staple food there are other equally important sectors like livestock,  poultry, fisheries and high value crops that require government attention and support.

Aside from boosting food production and modernization, the new DA chief said President Marcos, Jr. told him to pay special attention to alleged price manipulation and smuggling to ensure stable supply and prices and to protect Filipino consumers.

Towards this end, he said the DA will coordinate and work closely with relevant law enforcement agencies to apprehend and prosecute those engaged in illegal trade.

In his first meeting with the DA family, he sought everyone’s cooperation to achieve the goal of a stronger agriculture sector.

“I’m ready to work but I can’t do this alone.  I need your full cooperation and team work for us to achieve our targets,” he said. ###


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