Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

RP, Canada pursue stronger bilateral relations

Author: DA Communications Group | 2 June 2022

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur met on May 31, 2022, to celebrate the growing bilateral relations between Canada and the Philippines in the food and agriculture sectors.

In 2021, Canada became the Philippines’ 15th agri-fisheries trade partner, sharing 40% bilateral trade in agriculture and fisheries. Top agriculture exports to Canada include desiccated coconut, bread and pastry wares, fruit and vegetable juices, pineapples, coconut copra oil, food sauces, tunas, and mangoes.

During the meeting, Secretary Dar urged Ambassador MacArthur to continuously advocate for undisrupted flow of trade of key commodities to address the impact of stagflation.

Next to the United States and Ukraine, Canada remains as the country’s’ 3rd source of wheat imports. In 2021 alone, a total of 77.81 million kilos of Canadian wheat for human consumption was imported.

Relatedly, the Philippine agri chief asked the Ambassador for assistance to encourage the Canadian licensed-grain facilities to continue their export to the Philippines to ensure supply of wheat to the Philippines amidst competition from other importing countries.

While there is no hoarding of wheat in Canada, farmers are holding onto high-protein wheat to blend with any potentially lower-protein wheat they will produce in 2022. Further, due to the increasing wheat prices brought by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and drought in North America, Canada is foreseen as a last market resort for price-conscious countries.

Ambassador MacArthur, on one hand, encouraged the DA and the private sectors to explore the Canadian market as a potential source of canola meal for animal feeds, processed animal protein (PAP) meal for aquacultures, and live animals at cheaper and competitive prices.

The DA also acknowledged and extended its appreciation for the robust collaboration among Canadian and Philippine universities in the areas of veterinary and crop science. There are several rooms for future technical cooperation between the two countries in the digitalization of agriculture, adoption of climate-smart and green technology, crop insurance, precision agriculture, food processing, and professionalization of farm workers, particularly in capacitating the country’s dairy farms in business management and production.

The DA also looks forward to participate in the negotiation of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) to ensure that the Philippine food and agriculture sector reaps the maximum benefit of trade liberalization, empower small- and medium- scale enterprises to participate in the global value chain, and attract investments in dairy solutions and technology, irrigation infrastructures, renewable energy for agriculture machineries, among others. ### (AFID/IAD)

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