Agriculture Secretary William Dar highlighted important directions and strategies in continuously making the country’s agriculture and fishery sector, and agribusiness and food systems smart and resilient under the “new normal.”
“It is a very important direction to see to it that smart and resilient food systems in the country must be pursued, not only as ‘business-as-usual,’ but under the ‘new normal’ environment,” said Secretary Dar in his presentation during the first-ever online TOFIL Lecture Series, held on January 22, 2021.
He discussed how the agriculture and fisheries sector survived and started rebooting despite the challenges caused by the Taal Volcano eruption, Covid-19 pandemic, African swine fever (ASF), and a series of typhoons in 2020.
“To sustain the outcomes achieved last year, and for the sector to grow in 2021, the DA is committed to attain higher food sufficiency levels, reduce crop losses due to typhoons, and manage ASF and fall armyworm,” he said.
He also shared the directions to be pursued under the “One DA” integrated approach, composed of 12 key strategies; and highlighted the importance of the “One Nation Strategy” in collaboration with government agencies and the private sector to ensure the country’s food security.
He added that among the support programs that will be continued this year include the: Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF), and the Cash and Food Subsidy for Marginal Farmers and Fisherfolk (CFSMFF).
“The Department will also elevate its implementation of the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita marketing intervention, urban agriculture, and the shipping of hogs from Visayas and Mindanao to Metro Manila to ensure enough food supply in the country’s capital,” he said.
“I am inviting the laureates and the private sector to come and invest in agriculture. Investment from the private sector is such a critical strategy to prop up the growth of the agriculture and fisheries sector,” the agri chief urged.
Secretary Dar is a recipient of The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) award in 2016. President Rodrigo Duterte presented the award for his exemplary achievements and selfless dedication to his profession and in the field of agriculture that resulted in significant contributions to the improvement of the country as a whole.
Organized by the JCI Senate Philippines, TOFIL Foundation, ANSA Foundation, and the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute, “The Laureates: TOFIL Lecture Series” aims to serve as a venue for sharing inspirational stories. ### (DA-AFID and DA-StratComms)
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, on January 23, reminded vendors at the Tanauan City Trading Post to sell at fair price to allow buyers and other consumers to have access to quality and safe agricultural produce. The trading post, which serves as a marketing center for various vegetables and fruits, is currently undergoing upgrading and rehabilitation under a P50-million stimulus fund of the Bayanihan Act 2.
Once fully operational, the upgraded center will benefit 219 stall owners and a total of 190 vendors. Presently, it receives 70 tons of fruits and vegetables daily, delivered to different Metro Manila markets including Balintawak, Pasig and Alabang. (Photos by Alan Jay Jacalan, DA-AFID)
Agriculture Secretary William Dar distributed a total of P205 million (M) worth of interventions and agricultural projects to farmer-beneficiaries of Batangas province on January 23 at the International Training Center for Pig Husbandry, Lipa City, Batangas.
The assistance includes a P75M credit assistance package from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) to be made available to Batangueño farmers. The loan is payable in 10 years at zero interest.
During the event, indemnity insurance from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) was also distributed to farmers from Talisay, Calatagan, San Juan, and Tanauan, affected by the Taal volcano eruption last year.
In his message, Secretary Dar once again highlighted the importance of collective action and working together under the One DA approach.
“Sa ilalim po ng One DA, pagbubuklurin ang mga serbisyo at programa ng gobyerno sa ilalim ng Kagawaran ng Agrikultura para mas madaming magawa at mabilis maisakatuparan ang mga proyekto sa ikabubuti ng buhay at kabuhayan ng mga magsasaka, mangingisda at mga nagnenegosyo sa sektor,” he said.
The agri chief added that DA will continue to empower farmers to enable them to attain increased production and income. (Photos by Alan Jay Jacalan, DA-AFID)