SUCs needed to boost agri sector
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture has emphasized the important role of state universities and colleges (SUCs) and research and development institutions in pushing the growth of agriculture and the fisheries sector.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said SUCs must reshape their curricular program based on the challenges and opportunities of every region or area.

“They must produce highly knowledgeable and skilled human capital for agri-industrial development of the region,” he said.

Dar said SUCs must develop models of farm consolidation that is export- and market-oriented, models of inclusive agribusiness anchored on value chain system, and models to engage more youth in agriculture and agribusiness.

“They must also be the leader in digitalization of agriculture in the region and the leader in developing demand-driven and market-oriented research and extension system,” Dar said.

Dar has further requested R&D institutions to have a purposeful impact assessment of the top technologies they have developed and do much targeted research that will produce relevant technologies that will make farmers and fisherfolks more competitive.

He said the DA would help enhance the competitive edge of SUCs by funding their projects.

“The DA will be there to strongly support the establishment of the Philippine Corn Institute at Isabela State University,” Dar said following the proposal made by Isabela fourth district Rep. Alyssa Sheena Tan to enhance the province’s corn production.

Through the Bureau of Agricultural Research, the DA will also assist in the establishment of mushroom and citrus centers at ISU.

Three new facilities for research and development were recently inaugurated at the ISU. These include the establishments intended for cacao processing, cattle artificial insemination research and training, and climate change R&D support.

“Newer strategies must be developed to accelerate the unlocking of potential of the agriculture sector,” Dar said.

“R&D must be targeted and in line with the DA vision of increased productivity, lowered production cost, and increased income of farmers,” he said.

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