Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

PH, France conduct bilateral meeting to strengthen cooperation for agricultural dev’t

Author: DA-AFID | 5 April 2023

The governments of the Philippines and France will continue to partner towards the development and strengthening of the agri-food sector, particularly involving the local livestock and dairy industry. 

This was concluded during the 3rd Philippines-France Joint Steering Committee (JSC) on Agricultural Cooperation held at the Philippine Coconut Authority on 29 March 2023. 

The JSC was co-chaired Assistant Secretary for Policy, Research and Development Noel A. Padre of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and Head of the International Affairs Division Françoise Simon of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty (MAFS). French Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Michele Boccoz was also present to deliver opening remarks. 

In an administrative arrangement signed between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of France in 2017, one of the implementation cooperation is the conduct of dialogues such as the Joint Steering Committee on Agricultural Cooperation every two (2) years to strengthen areas of cooperation and open new doors for partnership. 

During the meeting, both sides agreed upon the finalization and signing of the Implementation Agreement on the Promotion of Geographical Indications, confirmed the planned activities on strengthening the management of African swine fever, and to continue further discussions on ASF vaccine development. 

In addition, France supports the proposal of the NMIS on the fellowship visits to reference labs specializing on the analyses of veterinary drug residues in pig meat. The Philippines also raised proposed scholarship grants and agricultural education. 

Both sides have agreed on furthering dairy cooperation and on expediting existing projects. 

The Farm and Fisheries Consolidation and Clustering (F2C2) shared their priorities from the Agriculture Forum which transpired the previous day and discussions arised about the exchange of experts to help with the priorities. 

Possible areas of partnership with France include the development of wholesale markets, improvement of the peking duck industry, and strengthening the resilience of the seaweed industry. The possible creation of an SPS working group was also raised. 

To close the meeting, Asec. Padre highlighted that both the Philippines and France have always cherished their friendship, as both recently celebrated 75 years of bilateral relations and that transparency has always been an important value that both endeavor to practice in engagements. 

He congratulated both sides for the successful and meaningful meeting that would enhance collaborative efforts towards achieving the collective objective of attaining food security and empowering farmers and fisher folks. ### (Alyssa Sahali Tan, DA-IAD)

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