Agriculture department urged to invest more in R&D projectsBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Invest in scientific research and development projects to help the agriculture sector improve its efficiency and increase its productivity, Senator Edgardo Angara urged the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“In recent years, global food supply and production has been going down. Several global studies have predicted that food will become more scarce in the next few years,” Angara said in a recent statement.
“Therefore we must focus on increasing our country’s production and continuous supply of our staple crops. To do this we must boost our investment in research and development, particularly in the field of agriculture,” he added.
Angara, who was once served as agriculture secretary, said the DA must allot more of its P74.987 billion proposed budget into research projects so that the agriculture sector can become more modernized which will improve efficiency.
“R&D in agriculture pays the highest dividends in terms of profit and returns, not to mention its huge contribution to improving productivity. In the Philippines, however, investment in this sector has declined precipitously–something I believe we should rectify as soon as possible,” he said.
He further said that the increase in research and development will results to better technology being developed which will address one of the major problems of agriculture: post-harvest losses.
Angara cited that up to 50 percent of fruits harvested and 15 percent of grain harvests go to waste because of “inadequate machinery and equipment.”
“Modern post-harvest facilities [and] improved logistics and infrastructure would greatly boost the efficiency of our supply chains and minimize losses,” Angara said.
“Better technology equals higher yield. We must seize this opportunity to step up production from agriculture industry, not just to ensure food supply but also to move closer to our country’s goal of self-sufficiency,” said Angara.