Former DA head seeks volunteers for PH agriculture 2020 program

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


A FORMER Department of Agriculture secretary (DA) is calling for volunteers from different sectors to participate in the roadmap for Philippine agriculture 2020 through a program called “InangLupa.”

William D. Dar, currently the director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India and at the same time the founder and president of the Inanglupa Movement Inc. (IMI), said in one of his visits in Cebu this month that the program is in need of collective action among stakeholders like scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs, government and non-government workers.

IMI, a partnership program between ICRISAT and DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, advocates for an “inclusive, science-based, climate-resilient and market-oriented Philippine agriculture” by 2020.

Dar said the movement is primarily focused to help smallholder farmers.

“The country, like most of the rest of the developing world, faces the overwhelming task of producing more and more food from less and less arable land and irrigation water. Smallholder farming in resource-poor and harsh, marginal environments is the most affected by the continuous degradation of soil and water resources,” IMI said in its official newsletter.

Dar said a roadmap was set to drive every sector of the society to cut hunger and poverty by meeting the needs of resource-poor farmers and consumers.

“Let us all make Philippine agriculture productive, profitable, and sustainable. Let’s aise it to a different level,” Dar said.

The agriculture sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product and export is declining, according to IMI’s website. It accounted for only an average of 11 percent of GDP in 2012, from 20 to 30 percent in the last two decades.

Dar’s group crafted the “Inanglupa roadmap,” which seeks food security, ensuring nutritional security, increasing per capita income, climate-resilient agriculture and social development.

He said that if food and nutritional security are attained, there will be an increase supply of key staple food of improved varieties, which can serve as buffer against price increases and volatility. This makes more nutritious food affordable, especially to the poor, he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 01, 2014.

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