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Philippines calls for more international, regional agriculture collaboration
In a virtual meeting with five other Asian agriculture ministers on Monday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar encouraged his counterparts to unite and strive to achieve desired goals and initiate transformative change in their respective countries.
Andy G. Zapata Jr., file

Philippines calls for more international, regional agriculture collaboration

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has cited the need for regional and international collaboration in the agriculture sector in a bid to build more sustainable food systems.

In a virtual meeting with five other Asian agriculture ministers on Monday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar encouraged his counterparts to unite and strive to achieve desired goals and initiate transformative change in their respective countries.

“We acknowledge that our countries are confronted with similar challenges to our agriculture sector and food systems,” Dar said.

“Thus, we fully support any international or regional collaboration and initiatives that will result in increased agricultural productivity, competitiveness and profitability, taking into account sustainability and resilience for our agriculture smallholders,” he said.

He shared that the Philippines,through the Department of Agriculture, recently concluded the National Food Systems Dialogue, the results or insights and recommendations of which would be shared during the Rome pre-summit next week, and at the New York United Nations Food Systems (UNFSS) in September, as well as the pre-summit slated next week in Rome.

“Your Excellencies, we are confident that by the end of the UN Food Systems Summit, we will gain more commitments and solutions in our hands,”Dar said.

“And it is incumbent upon us to carefully scrutinize all of these and draw deeply as we jointly work to build a better world—where agricultural production and food systems are sustainable and resilient, and our citizens enjoying affordable, safe, and nutritious food,” he said.

In a joint statement, the ministers present at the meeting also recognized that international collaboration is important to introduce innovative and sustainable agricultural practices and technologies such as digital tools, machineries and pest control tools.

They emphasized that these collaborations, which aim to achieve a balance between productivity and environmental protection, could be promoted and deepened through joint research projects and existing frameworks for bilateral and plurilateral cooperation.

“As countries belonging to the Monsoon Asia region, we share several regional particularities with regards to agricultural production, including distinctive climate conditions such as high humidity and high temperature, abundance of paddy fields, and high percentage of small- and medium-sized farmers,” the ministers said.

AGRICULTURE
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