DOST Sec. de la Peña calls for more R&D on agriculture
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña is calling for more research and development in agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources, adding that the department will now bring back agriculture as a priority in its scholarship programs.
Speaking at the anniversary of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development in Los Bañol, Laguna, De la Peña said “PCAARRD continually faces the challenge of improving the lives of marginalized sectors of society through worthwhile and productive research and development strategies.”
De la Peña echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call “to distribute science initiatives to the regions, especially where food production needs to be improved, where industry needs to grow, and where innovation needs to be developed.”
He challenged PCAARRD and its stakeholders to intensify efforts in improving the lives of the 47 percent of Filipinos who rely on the farming and fisheries for their livelihood, adding that empowering them will result in a more efficient agriculture sector.
He noted that the workforce in the farm sector is aging and that the number of students pursuing agriculture related courses are decreasing.
De la Peña said it is important to pursue partnerships in the regions to be able to roll out technologies that would benefit farmers and fisherfolk as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises.