The Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) to boost the country’s production of rice, corn, and fisheries using modern science and technology systems.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said two separate Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed for collaborative programs, which will support the local production of seeds, biotechnology input, and crop production efforts of the government.
Under the MOU, the agency will seek the expertise of UPLB’s Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) for seeds and the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) for biotechnology inputs.
UPLB-IPB will undertake programs supporting the production of seeds, scions, stocks, plantations, fruits, vegetables, legumes, root crops, rice, corn, cassava, and adlai.
Meanwhile, UPLB-NIMBB will support the production of biofertilizers, feed ingredients or supplements, probiotics, and other products of biotechnology.
“We can produce our own food if we unlock the potential of agriculture by providing it significantly budget and funds so that science and technology and research and development can grow side-by-side,” said Dar.
He also encouraged universities and institutions to urge legislators to provide budgetary support to the agency to ramp up the country’s crop and fishery sectors.
“To accelerate the development and growth of this farming sector, we need to bring PPP (Public Private Partnership) — meaning build and transfer — so that big money from investors and private sector will come,” said DAR.
(This article, written by Faith Argosino, was first published in the Manila Bulletin Website on March 23, 2022)