Philippine Department of Agriculture – Tokyo
Marcos relays food production agenda in 1st SONA

Marcos relays food production agenda in 1st SONA

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., in his 1st  State of the Nation Address (SONA) highlighted the importance of agriculture in pushing for growth and employment in the country.

“One of the main drivers of our push for growth and employment will be in the agricultural sector,” he said.

As concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Marcos laid out plans to counter two problems besetting Philippine agriculture for the short- and long-term.

“Ang mga suliraning agarang mararamdaman ng ating mga kababayan ay ang posibilidad ng tuloy-tuloy na pagsipa ng presyo ng pagkain at kakulangan sa suplay ng ating pagkain,” he said.

As such, Marcos announced that the Department of Agriculture under his watch will work double time to address the gap in food supply and spike in prices.

“Upang masuportahan ang mga mamimili para mapanatili ang kanilang purchasing power o kapangyarihan sa pagbili, isinapinal ang planong taasan ang produksyon sa susunod na panahon ng pagtatanim o planting season, sa pamamagitan ng tulong pinansiyal at teknikal,” the President stressed.

He added that DA will extend financial assistance and provide farm inputs to food producers, which the government will procure in bulk.  These will include fertilizer, pesticides, seeds, as well as fuel subsidy and other interventions.

For the long-term, the President explained that the production of various agricultural commodities will be improved through an enhanced value chain system from production to retail. He highlighted the importance of harmonizing the different of components within the system from pre- to post-harvest.

“May mga bahagi ng value chain na sa ngayon ay kanya-kanya ang operasyon.  Pagtibayin natin ang koordinasyon ng iba’t ibang bahagi nito,” he said.

The DA will likewise oversee and guide the research and development of planting systems as well as the improvement of the animal industry, and guarantee that the farm inputs to be distributed to food producers are climate-smart to meet the challenges of global warming.

To financially equip farmers and fishers and allow them to be more competitive and competent, President Marcos announced that institutionalization of farm credit under his administration.

“Ang mga pautang at financial assistance sa mga magbubukid at mangingisda ay magiging institusyon at patakaran ng aking administrasyon,” he said.

Consistent with his pronouncements in the past, the President will prioritize Philippine agriculture by pushing for the mechanization and modernization of the sector. He has also committed to take on more scientific researches to improve the local poultry, livestock and fishery industries.

A few weeks back, Marcos instructed other national agencies to prioritize programs that will support the agri-fishery sector. Among them is the Department of Public Works and Highways, which was ordered to expedite the development of infrastructures that will aid the food security program of the Department.

In his SONA, the President reiterated the importance of farm-to-market roads to ease the transport and delivery of farm inputs and products from the farms to the trading centers.  His administration will also focus on post-production and processing to add value to agricultural products to enable farmers to increase income.

Aside from increasing food production, Marcos is also determined to provide consumers access to safe and quality food items at affordable prices, through the enhancement of Kadiwa stores nationwide.