Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

“Pour money on agriculture”, agri chief urges next admin

Author: DA Communications Group | 12 May 2022

With the 2022 Philippine elections coming to a close, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar called on the incoming administration to allocate more funds to the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the webinar: “Spiraling Commodity Prices: Game Plan to Survive Shocks” of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, May 11.

“Triple the budget to at least P250 B a year. Absent that, I cannot propose better solutions,” he relayed as his foremost policy recommendation.

The brewing food crisis, which the Secretary said was ascertained by experts and analysts worldwide, can be attributed to the disruption of the global supply chain brought by the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The said crisis continues to impact Philippine agriculture, resulting in a 0.3% decline in the value of agricultural production for the first quarter of 2022.

The crops, livestock, and fisheries subsectors noted a -1.6%, -1.0%, and -5.8% production volume respectively. The country’s poultry production volume remained promising at 12.3%.

“I hope the new administration understands the enormity of the responsibility we face at the moment in agriculture,” the Secretary added.

To aid the succeeding administration in its agricultural decisions, the Department, with Secretary Dar at the helm, created the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP)—a strategic guidebook for agricultural development from 2021-2030.

“It establishes and words our vision for the next ten years, assuming hefty budgetary prioritization of the sector as a national policy. And we adamantly say, this prioritization must come to pass, else, the food crisis could threaten national security,” he asserted.

The DA chief recommended an annual budget of P250 B, which he says “is sufficient to implement a long-term vision of commodity industry development, significant agricultural infrastructure development including our agri-industrial business corridors, among others, and attain food sovereignty.”

Secretary Dar thanked outgoing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his speech for being a staunch ally of the country’s agriculture sector, having implemented key reforms such as the Rice Tariffication Law and the Coconut Farmers’ and Industry Trust Fund Act. He also lauded the President for his administration’s successful pandemic recovery program and efforts to ensure food sufficiency in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)

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