MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will lay out its food security campaign amid the Covid-19 pandemic and population growth during the 2021 National Food Security Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The summit will address major challenges and enhance how Filipinos can have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, and affordable food.
The opening ceremony will be held at the DA’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall in Diliman, Quezon City.
Former Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Asis Perez, in a virtual press briefing on Monday, said assessment and planning will help boost the country’s food situation.
“The country must endeavour to produce more than enough for each of the major agriculture commodities to be entirely food secured. Among the items that need to be prioritized include rice, corn, legumes such as mongo and red beans, beef, pork, chicken and fish, and vegetables and fruits. Since these commodities constitute the bulk of the Filipino diet, everyone must work together and focus on boosting efficiency and competitiveness in producing these items locally,” he said.
Norbert Chingcuanco, convenor of advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan, cited the generation of reliable industry data, reduced post-harvest loss, improved farm-to-market relations, and mainstreaming value-added products and processing.
“We can become a dominant exporter while still caring for and providing gainful economic growth to local communities. All these are possible if we produce efficiently, sustainably, and responsibly,” he said.
Chingcuanco suggested that industry stakeholders and concerned government agencies develop a comprehensive database that contains updated information on the volume and value of production and stock inventory in the ponds and cages and areas where these products are located.
“Reliable data will guide us what and when to produce and help us evaluate if importation is indeed necessary for a certain commodity and season,” he said.
Chingcuanco will be one of the resource speakers of the summit.
Participants are expected to recommend needed strategies and policies to resolve major issues confronting the farming and fishing sectors, and provide inputs to update commodity and industry roadmaps under the new normal.
President Rodrigo Duterte will virtually keynote the summit’s plenary session on Tuesday while Senators Cynthia Villar and Francis Pangilinan will also be guest speakers. (PNA)
May 17, 2021, 8:58 pm