Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

President Rody’s marching order to DA: A shift of paradigm

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, CAMARINES SUR, July 12 (PIA) -  Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol faced Bicol Region’s governors, district representatives, selected party list reps, and various stakeholders this morning carrying with him two important directives from President Rodrigo Duterte: ensure available and affordable food and generate jobs and foreign earnings for the Filipino people.

“I am sent here for a mission coming from no less than our President and that is to create programs to ensure food sufficiency. The president believes that it is his moral obligation to guarantee that no one goes hungry. I am not here to deliver a speech. I am here to give you hope,” Piñol stated.

Piñol is the first cabinet secretary to set foot in Camarines Sur.

He said that he came with a marching order to let the people know that our president is aware of the threat to the agriculture sector and is prepared for the challenges.

In response, the new Da Secretary stated that there would be a complete paradigm shift to effectively implement agriculture programs that would respond to a call for change.

One of these programs is the Rice Productivity Enhancement or RIPE.  This would entail is a thorough review of the country’s water management and irrigation policies, nationwide soil analysis, an extensive program to improve rice farming technology, introduction of high-yielding rice varieties, effective soil rehabilitation and fertilizer programs.

Piñol also added that farm equipment is very important to increase the farmer’s productivity. He then vowed to aggressively push for the provision of modern and post-harvest facilities to farmer organizations to improve their production output and minimize losses.

“Aside from the provision of farm machineries, we will be introducing solar-powered irrigation facilities that will provide water for the rice fields, vegetable gardens and for drinking purposes. This will also provide electric power to the community,” the secretary added.

Three (3) prototypes of this new agricultural irrigation concept will soon find its way in the farmlands of three pilot areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Under Duterte’s administration, Piñol said that they DA will push the Family-based Agro-forestry program – an idea of stakeholdership where the stewards are encouraged to take good care the tree species within their areas and care for them as if it is their own.

He emphasized Duterte’s words that water should be free, thereby pushes for a free irrigation service for the farmers.  He called on the farm workers to focus more on small and community-based irrigation projects over the highly destructive and long-gestating mega-irrigation projects. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861468322866/president-rody-s-marching-order-to-da-a-shift-of-paradigm#sthash.3ZYN8XQu.dpuf

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