outbrain
Close  

Science advocates tell Villar: ‘Research vital in food security’

/ 02:41 PM October 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — A group of science and technology advocates on Wednesday have asserted the importance of strong research in the development of the agriculture sector in the country, the achievement of food security, and the upliftment of farmers’ lives.

The Food Security and Self-Sufficiency Committee of the Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham) said Villar calling the Department of Agriculture (DA) “crazy for research” for allocating P150 million budget for research under the National Corn Program reflects the “lackluster support” of the national government to research and development.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ:  Villar hits DA for high budget on corn research: ‘Baliw na baliw kayo sa research’

“[We] would like to dispute Senator Cynthia Villar’s statement belittling the importance of research to agricultural development. We would like to assert that strong research, together with genuine land and pro-farmer reforms, plays a vital role in developing the country’s agriculture, achieving food security and uplifting the lives of our farmers,” Agham said in a statement.

FEATURED STORIES

Agriculture research, said Agham, has not been given sufficient attention, which is one of the reasons why the country’s state of science and technology “remains sorry and does not contribute much to the improvement of quality of life.”

“This is the stark reality of science and technology in the country,” the group said.

“Based on the global data of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development has been consistently at only 0.1%, which is way below the 1% standard set by UNESCO. The R&D (research and development) expenditure of the country pales compared to neighboring countries such as Vietnam (2.4%) and Malaysia (1.3%),” it added.

Further, Agham added that Villar’s statement seemingly underestimating the role of research in developing corn production shows her lack of deep appreciation on the contribution of science for agricultural development.

Agham also explained that there is now a more urgent need to sustain research and development in various fields like crop productivity, food production technology, biosecurity for agricultural trades, and resilience to pests, diseases, and climate change, considering the rapid changes in the environment that directly impact food production.

In a press conference in Quezon City on Wednesday, Villar clarified that she is not against research and that she only wants “research that could be applied.”  /muf

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Agham, Agriculture, corn, Cynthia Villar, Department of Agriculture, National Corn Program, Research
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.