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New agri chief eyes increased, modernized food production

Newly-appointed DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. (Right) joins his first flag raising ceremony together with DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban (Left). (Photo Courtesy: DA) 

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- Soon as he assumed office, newly-appointed Secretary Francisco “Kiko” Tiu Laurel, Jr. of the Department of Agriculture (DA) bared his priority thrusts to further improve the productivity of the food production sector in the country. 

Increasing food production and modernizing agri-food systems are among the primary aims of Secretary Laurel towards achieving economic growth and food security which form a significant part in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028

“By modernizing the agriculture sector, we could make it a more profitable venture and attract a younger generation that would ensure the country’s food security in the decades to come,” said the agriculture chief. 

By pivoting to modernization, the agricultural sector is envisioned to become less dependent on imports and instead have a climate-smart system that will ensure the sustainable income of Filipino farmers and fisherfolk. 

According to the DA, over 10 million farmers and fisherfolk belong to poor households and many of them are already approaching their retirement which poses a threat to the state of food production. 

“I’m ready to work but I can’t do this alone.  I need your full cooperation and team work for us to achieve our targets,” Laurel added, citing his plans to conduct an on-ground inspection of the actual conditions facing the sector. 

In addition, the DA Secretary is expected to continue the initiative of ensuring consumer protection by keeping a keen eye on illegal agricultural practices, particularly smuggling, hoarding, and price manipulation. 

He also expressed his commitment to work closely with the concerned law enforcement agencies to sanction those who will engage in such illegalities. 

Aside from rice production, Laurel stated that the DA under his leadership will equally focus on other important agricultural sectors that need government support including livestock, poultry, fisheries, and high value crops. 

To date, the DA was able to launch three core projects since Laurel has taken over the agriculture department. 

These comprise of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up, Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), and the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project.

The said program initiatives are anchored on fostering collaboration between farmer and fisherfolk associations towards attaining economies of scale and technology-driven agricultural industry. (DA/PIA-NCR)

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Janna Marie Pineda

Information Officer

National Capital Region

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