The Manila Times

DA readies first 100 days action plan for BBM

AWARE of the challenges that the next administration will face in attaining food sovereignty, the Department of Agriculture (DA) led by Secretary William Dar has PREPARED A LIST OF PRIORITIES IN AGRICULTURE FOR THE fiRST 100 days that forms part of the agency’s transition process for the next administration.

Among the priorities for the proposed action for the first 100 days of the next administration under Presidentelect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. are:

• Increasing the buffer stocking of the National Food Authority (NFA) to 30 days;

• Encouraging local government units to also engage in a 30-day buffer stocking;

• Rehabilitating the NFA’s rice milling centers;

• Selling of NFA rice to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) beneficiaries;

• Delegating state universities and colleges (SUCs) to distribute vegetable seeds and planting materials;

• Disseminating information on organic fertilizer and soil testing;

• Collaborating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on reasonable agri-fishery regulations implemented by local government units (LGUs);

• Promoting the law creating the Bureau of Agrifishery Industrialization Cooperatives;

• Calling for the passage of the Livestock Development Competitiveness Act;

• Supporting as urgent the Creation of the Department of Fishery and Oceans; and

• Hastening the shift to renewable sources of energy for agricultural endeavors.

The first 100 days priorities for agriculture for the next administration was discussed during the Secretary Dar’s meeting with the Secretary of Agriculture’s Group of Experts (SAGE) meeting on June 9, 2022.

For his part, National Scientist and SAGE Chairman Dr. Emil Javier said that there are immediate requirements in a crisis situation, but the solutions must also have a long-term strategic framework.

He also commended Secretary Dar and the DA for having a “well-thought-out” and “a very solid plan for agriculture” in the form of the OneDA Reform Agenda and the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP) that will benefit the incoming administration.

“The new situation calls for a new paradigm and with NAFMIP, we are evolving towards food sovereignty,” Secretary Dar said.

He added that attaining food sovereignty would call for the political will to implement that paradigm, giving topmost priority to agriculture, and a sizable budget for the agriculture sector.

The Agriculture chief also welcomed the declarations of the incoming president to prioritize agriculture and local food production.

“We have to evolve now. Thus, ensuring food security towards food sovereignty. As much as we could, we have to produce, but of course always be guided that competitiveness is the name of the game so we can lower the cost of production,” the secretary said.

The SAGE members are former agriculture secretaries Senen Bacani, Leonardo Montemayor, and Domingo Panganiban; former socio-economic planning and National Economic and Development Authority secretary-general Cielito Habito; and renowned economist Bernardo Villegas. They also agreed that Philippine agriculture needs a much bigger budget in the face of numerous challenges, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The advisory group also congratulated Secretary Dar for his accomplishments and thanked him for his service to the country’s farmers and fisherfolk.

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