DA may seek financial assistance from Japan for PHL food security

The Department of Agriculture (DA) may seek financial assistance from Japan to support the country’s food security program.

This after representatives of the Embassy of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), headed by Economic Minister Nihei Daisuke and First Secretary and Agriculture Attaché Tachikawa Jumpei, recently made a courtesy call to the DA to identify key areas of agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and Japan.

In a news statement, Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban expressed the Philippines’s interest in seeking financial assistance from Japan, either through soft loans or the Japan Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers (formerly called the 2KR program), to help support the DA’s programs toward food security.

In response, the DA said the Japanese envoys relayed that the Government of Japan is currently conducting an assistance program for procuring chemical fertilizers and facilitating fertilizer management in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO).

The DA said the bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Japan is also expected to benefit agricultural projects in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) by helping provide farm-to-market roads, communal irrigation systems and other initiatives.

The officials also discussed Japan’s satellite technology for the surveillance and detection of diseases afflicting Philippine banana plantations such as Fusarium wilt, which is currently posing a major threat to the local banana industry.

A more intensive discussion on areas of agricultural cooperation between the two countries is set to take place during Philippine President and Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s visit to Japan next year.

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