THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Launching of family farming action plan caps 2021 Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month

Author: DA Communications Group | 27 May 2021

The 2021 Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month celebration culminated with the ceremonial signing and launching of the Philippine Action Plan for Family Farming (PAP4FF) on May 27, 2021 at the Rural Development Education Center of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Quezon City.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the launching of the PAP4FF, which advocates multi-stakeholder collaboration with the overarching goal of “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita, at Marangal na Buhay ng Pamilyang Magsasaka” or “Abundant Harvests, High Incomes, and Dignified Life of Family Farmers.”

“It is a good articulation of the whole-of-nation approach, kasama lahat,” the agri chief said.

He added that while family farming dominates the world’s farming activities, they should not be left on their own, because they could still be strengthened further through innovative ways with which family farms are also properly working with each other.

“That is why we encourage collective action and institutional development by way of having this into cooperatives or associations, as long as they work in a consolidated manner, because we need economies of scale that will not only double if not quadruple the productivity that we must have,” Secretary Dar said.

According to ATI Assistant Director and National Focal Person for Family Farming Rosana Mula, the PAP4FF has three strategic action areas, namely: Policy and Program, People, and Partnerships, which are aimed at addressing the main concerns and challenges of Filipino family farmers.

She also discussed the following pillars of action that are aligned with the Global Action Plan and serve as driving forces to achieve the PAP4FF goal: 1) enabling policy and program; 2) generational renewal and sustainability; 3) gender equity and empowerment; 4) strengthened family farmer organizations; 5) socio-economic inclusion, resilience, and holistic development; 6) sustainable and climate-resiliency of food systems; and 7) enhanced multifunctional roles of farm families.

In line with this, Secretary Dar reiterated some key messages from the recently conducted National Food Security Summit.

“The Philippine agriculture must transform into more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable agri food systems so it could better respond to the pandemic and other challenges besetting the sector,” the secretary said.

He added, “Agriculture is too important to be left alone with the Department of Agriculture (DA). We are calling for sustained and stronger public-private-people partnership. The DA should steer, the local government units and other stakeholders and partners must row. After all, everyone is part of the food system.”

Officials and representatives of partner government agencies, civil society organizations, farmer groups, non-government organizations, the academe, and international institutions attended the culminating activity and expressed their support to the successful implementation of the PAP4FF and the DA key strategies.

Ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda, sila po ang front liners talaga. Sila ang tinatawag kong ‘bayani sa kanayunan.’ Gusto kong pasalamatan, gusto kong bigyan ng papupugay muli ang ating mga magsasaka, mangingisda, at talaga namang dapat ang ating mga plano ay at the end of the day, sila na yung aangat ang productivity levels, yung masaganang ani na sinasabi po natin, at tataas na rin ang kanikanilang kita,” Secretary Dar said about the country’s food production heroes being celebrated this month. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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