(News Feature)PA 2020: A blueprint for modernization of Philippine agriculture

May 13, 2015 5:31 am 

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, May 12 (PNA) — If the United Nations has the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST PHL) has developed the Philippine Agriculture (PA) 2020.

PA 2020 is a medium term strategic plan for the agriculture and natural resources sector articulated by scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs, non-government workers, stakeholders, in a series of consultations and workshops by the NAST PHL.

Participants look forward to a “robust and vibrant agricultural and natural resources production systems and ecosystems services” that will improve and sustain well-being in the country.

Thus, PA 2020 envisions a sector that shall have a major role in reducing poverty, achieving food security, global competitiveness, as well as sustainability, justice and peace.

the plan has three pillars:

— organizing and managing agriculture as a business

— changing the social structure through asset reform

— nurturing values respecting nature and commodity

As such, strategies will include technology development, investments and governance reforms.

According to the NAST PHL, governance will be the “binding force” for enabling social strategies.

NAST PHL explained that basically, PA 2020 is a blueprint for modernization of Philippine agriculture, taken much from the point of view of stakeholders, technical people and implementors.

The first requirement is to sustain the level of public expenditure for agriculture in the General Appropriations.

NAST PHL said that the annual public expenditure of Php 50-60 billion should be enough to meet the modernization needs of agriculture and fisheries.

It also noted that as the population keeps growing in number, then there’s a need to produce more food from less arable land and irrigation water.

The NAST PHL highlighted that with strong measures to preserve prime arable lands, full harvest, careful utilization of surface waters, added with modern production and post-harvest technologies, the Philippines can produce a huge part of what it currently imports.

Furthermore, the country can still produce some niche products for export, the NAST PHL added. (PNA)

RMA/MCCA/EDS

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