Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

PBBM admin to empower DA Soils Bureau for national soil health, improved food production

Author: DA-AFID | 22 June 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has vowed to empower the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) especially through capacitating soil laboratories nationwide to yield better data.

During the opening program of the 1st National Soil Health Summit on June 21, 2023, the President stressed the need to address the country’s growing problem of soil degradation, acidification, and pollution.

“I cannot emphasize enough how significant and influential this 1st National Soil Health Summit is. With the discourse amongst our leaders and the agricultural sector’s brightest minds, I anticipate that this summit will spark more informed decisions and much needed innovations in the coming years,” President Marcos said.

Under his leadership, the government has come up with a five-point priority agenda on soil and water management such as the National Soil Health Program and the implementation of Sustainable Land Management.

The chief executive said it will ensure proper soil use and management, address land degradation, enhance crop productivity, and improve farmers’ income.

Through the DA-BSWM, the government conducts soil and land resources mapping and evaluation process including soil-based and land-based level assessments, soil sample analyses, and digital map preparations under the Philippine Soil Land Resources Information Program.

The administration also explores Water Security for Climate Resilient Rainwater Technologies and Cloud Seeding Operations for Agriculture to improve water conditions in production areas, critical watersheds, and reservoirs as part of the collective efforts to mitigate the effects of El Niño.

The 1st National Soil Health Summit is jointly organized by the DA-BSWM, Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), House of Representatives, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and Griffith University

With the theme, “Securing Food and Nutrition through Healthy Soils,” the summit aims at bringing together different institutions and stakeholders to share, exchange, and level expectations regarding soil health strategy or invigorating agricultural productivity in the Philippines.

“This summit will provide us with comprehensive and science-based strategies on soil resources management from the global and local level to address soil degradation and improve soil health for a revitalizing and resilient Philippine agriculture,” DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said.

Recognizing that the country’s soil is under threat, which also affects the country’s food security, President Marcos urged the concerned institutions and stakeholders to work together and make national soil health a top priority to prevent even worse crisis in the future.

Hundreds of representatives from farmers’ cooperatives and associations, extension workers, academe, local government units, policymakers, nongovernment organizations, and other agri-stakeholders will participate in the two-day summit on June 21–22, 2023. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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