The Department of Agriculture targets to establish a commodity industry roadmap within four months to strengthen the country’s food security system.
Citing the Philippines’s 73rd place in the 2020 Global Food Security Index, DA Assistant Secretary Liza Battad said the creation of the roadmap is one of the department’s biggest challenges.
“I think we need to focus ourselves on the more impactful commodities and, at the same time, we see the need for the entire bureaucracy to help, and we have identified important strategies,” Battad said in a virtual presser.
The DA will also need the private sectors’ commitment, she said.
“We will draw the private sector’s commitment and plot them into their industries’ roadmap so we can know the mechanism and how to implement it with them,” Battad, who also co-chaired the 2021 National Food Security Summit Steering Committee, added.
The GFSI considers the issues of food affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience across 113 countries.
Indicators measure the drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.
The Philippines’ strengths were in agricultural production, change in average food costs, market access and agricultural financial services, and agricultural import tariffs.
The DA, Battad added, has suggested and identified some options on how to implement the industry roadmap with the private sector.
“What is significant that should happen in four months is we should be able to identify and influence the changes in the DA’s budget,” she said.
The two-day food security summit that ended Wednesday addressed major challenges on accessing sufficient, safe, nutritious, and affordable food.
She said they were also seeking the full support of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in bringing about relevant technologies and capacitation of the workers and livestock technicians and more importantly, the farmer and fishers organization and cluster leaders.*PNA