• By The Financial District


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.

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.