January 28, 2022 | 00:00
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and the United States have affirmed their intention to work together to improve the country’s agricultural sector, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA)
In a statement released yesterday, the DA said Agriculture Secretary William Dar recently met with US Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava.
“During the virtual meeting, Dar briefly shared with CDA Variava the four pillars of the reform agenda to consolidate, modernize and industrialize the Philippine agricultural sector, including initiatives for livestock, dairy, fisheries, among others,” the DA said.
DA also highlighted DA’s ongoing actions to address the challenges posed by the pandemic, such as the improved Kadiwa ni Ani program in Kita.
The program facilitates the sale of key agricultural products at reasonable prices to the consuming public through partnerships with local governments and the private sector.
Dar stressed the urgent need to mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical measures to combat the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), such as upgrading existing diagnostic laboratories, while emphasizing the importance of research in the livestock industry.
“Referring to the damage caused by Typhoon Odette to the local agribusiness sector, Dar spoke of the need for assistance to affected farmers and fishermen,” the DA said.
Figures from the DA-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center showed that damage to agriculture from Typhoon Odette reached 13.4 billion pesos.
Meanwhile, Dar also encouraged the renewal of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for the Philippines, as it helps the Philippines attract investment, create new industries and jobs, and encourage resilience. of the supply chain.
The US GSP allowed duty-free entry for products from beneficiary countries.
Dar has also invited US investors in industries such as coir chips, coir plank manufacturing, and seafood processing and canning.
“With a number of agricultural partnerships between the two countries, Variava affirmed that US programs are in place to support and complement Philippine businesses in the agricultural sector,” the DA said.