Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Phl, France take agri dev’t to next level

Author: DA-AFID | 19 December 2022

Officials of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) led by Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban formally welcomed the delegates from France led by French Ambassador to the Philippines and Micronesia Michèle Boccoz, with both sides presenting updates on various collaborative programs and potential areas for cooperation in agriculture.

During her courtesy call last December 14, Boccoz put emphasis on farm mechanization, development of the dairy industry, irrigation, and agricultural insurance as some of the new possible areas for collaboration between the Philippines and France.

The DA and the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry previously signed an Administrative Agreement on Agriculture in 2017 to strengthen the two countries’ approach to areas of common interest, which includes the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, food safety and security, development of the livestock sector, creation of wholesale markets, sanitation, and technical cooperation.

This admin agreement also led to the creation of the Philippine-France Joint Steering Committee on Agriculture.

The First ASC Meeting, along with the First Agricultural Forum was hosted by the Philippines in 2017, and the Second JSC, by France in 2019.

The Third JSC Meeting, along with the Second Agricultural Forum will be hosted by the Philippines in early 2023. The committee aims to promote bilateral trade and cooperation in agriculture and discuss specific initiatives, as well as to facilitate linkages between relevant French and Philippine stakeholders

The Philippines was a recipient of a €250 million loan, which the French government co-financed with the Asian Development Bank in 2020, to help improve financial access for the poor and the marginalized sectors and encourage members of the private sector to participate in infrastructure projects.

Aside from financial assistance, France also committed to provide technical assistance grants, market opportunities, and irrigation projects to the Philippines.

The Philippine National Dairy Authority (NDA), through Administrator Farrell Benjelix Magtoto, also presented its proposed OneDAiry Hills Project to the French delegates in hopes of obtaining experts and heifers that can withstand tropical temperatures.

The OneDairy Hills Project, which is targeted to be implemented by 2023, aims to put up a nucleus farm in Bohol, Philippines and produce tropically-adapted heifers that could be utilized by the NDA and farmers’ cooperatives and associations. It will also provide training centers for capacity-building of extension officers and cooperative managers, among others.

The NDA and the French delegates visited the NDA Dairy Multiplier Farm and Bohol Milk Processing Plant in Bohol last April 2022 for an introductory meeting and initial assessment of the project site. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID) 


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