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Duterte greenlights measures to boost food security—DA

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said President Duterte has approved 8 measures it has proposed, including barangay-based vegetable farming, to boost the country’s food security and address ongoing problems of the sector.

The DA said 8 key result areas (KRAs) were approved by Duterte and the Cabinet in their meeting on food security last January 11.

On top of the list is the intensified implementation of the “Plant, Plant, Plant,” program, which covers production of crops, livestock, poultry and aquaculture, as well as urban gardening such as Gulayan sa Barangay at Paaralan.

This is followed by improved agri-fishery production, processing, marketing and logistical support as well as sustained implementation of the joint circular on price control led and coordinated by the local price coordinating councils, according to the DA.

The DA added that the administration has approved the enhancement of the government’s actions and response in managing, preventing and controlling the spread of African swine fever (ASF) through the Bantay ASF sa Barangay or BABaY. The DA said this biosecurity project would be coupled by its ongoing swine repopulation program.

The other measures approved were: adjusting rice planting calendar to reduce crop damage caused by typhoons; localize implementation of DA-DOH policy on food safety; enhance war against hunger as a result of the pandemic; and closer coordination on messaging with regards to food security and other related strategic communications initiatives.

“On behalf of the DA family and the IATF task group on food security we will continue to work even harder this 2021 so that the Philippine agriculture sector can ‘survive, reboot, and grow’ under the new normal,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a statement over the weekend.

Dar urged the Cabinet members “to strongly team up with the DA in the vigorous  implementation of the Duterte administration’s Plant, Plant, Plant program” to attain a 2-percent agriculture sector growth this year.

Dar noted that a higher farm output would “help propel the country’s economic recovery.”

“The DA will continue to increase farm and fishery productivity, increase incomes of farmers and fisherfolk, and subsequently reduce poverty and hunger,” he added.

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