The newly appointed Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, Dr. William Dar, envisioned to improve agriculture sector through new thinking strategy. He explained that ‘new thinking’ means to have a food secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.
In his press briefing yesterday, Dar said that he aims to empower farmers, fisherfolks, and private sectors to acquire higher productivity and profitability through agriculture sustainability and resilience. The new DA secretary will do this through the his eight paradigms in advancing agriculture.
Eight Paradigms of the Newly Appointed DA Secretary in Achieving Food Secure Country
Here are the eight paradigms of Dr. William Dar in attaining a food secure country:
1.Modernization must continue
Use of modern technology will include the export potential crops such as coffee, cacao, cassava, tropical fruits and rubber for processing and value-adding. Moreover, he emphasized that farmers should also learn on how to become entrepreneurs.
2. Industrialization of Agriculture is the key
Dr. Dar said that value chains of various agricultural commodity should aim to industrialize.
3. Promotion of export is a necessity
“This would require achieving economies of scale in on-farm production that would generate sustained quantity and quality of export products. The private sector’s role will be essential in developing and promoting agricultural products,” Dr. Dar mentioned.
He pointed out that the Philippines only have two dollar-earning crop, banana and coconuts, while Thailand has 13 crops, Vietnam has seven, and Indonesia has five.
4.Consolidation of small-and-medium-size farms
Helping small-and-medium-size farms to promote farm consolidation to increase economies of scale, especially for crops that entails mechanization, should also be prioritized.
“These schemes include block farming, trust farming, contract farming, and corporative farming that will make farming more efficient, where technology is used, where cost of production is reduced, and farm productivity and incomes are increased”, Dr. Dar added.
5. Infrastructure development should also be critical
Dr. Dar also mentioned that Build Build Build program can help in linking urban and export markets.
6. Higher budget and investment for Philippine agriculture
“The DA chief said there is also a need to engage the private sector in investing and setting up of more agri-based industries in the countryside and developing markets for agriculture products,” Philippine News Agency reported.
7. Legislative support is needed
He also highlighted the need of frameworks which promote digitization of farming and agribusiness activities in the country. Through this, financial access for farmers will not be only accessible but more importantly, available and affordable.
8. Roadmap development is paramount
Lastly, new DA secretary included roadmaps in attaining food secure country that will create more access in developing the export markets of the Philippines and funding research and development.