Dr. William
Dollente Dar, acting secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), bares “new
thinking” as strategy to achieve four-fold agriculture growth and double
farmers’ income.

In his
acceptance speech early this week, Dar, who have served as the DA secretary
from 1998 to 1999, noted that Philippine agriculture, for the past decade, only
grew 1.1% annually, while population has been increasing at 1.8% yearly.

are faced with the painful and stark reality that Philippine agriculture has
barely grown this past decade. Today we can only produce 93% of our rice
requirements, and import the balance….President Duterte himself has
acknowledged that the agriculture sector is the weakest link in our economy,”
he said.

“new thinking,” the department targets growth for at least 2% from August 2019
to July 2020, 2.5-3% in 2021, and 3-4% in 2022. يانصيب

the revised DA vision and mission, “new thinking” is composed of eight
paradigms, in which the department’s strategy will revolve. These include modernization,  industrialization, promotion of exports, and
farm consolidation. “Rebooting” the department’s way of conducting things will also
cover infrastructure and roadmap development, higher budget and investments,
and legislative support.

believe these imperatives will pave the way to developing, strengthening, and
nurturing the country’s agriculture and fishery sector, and in particular
achieve our vision of prosperous farmers and fishers, and a thriving
globally-competitive agriculture sector,” the secretary who preferred to be
called a servant-leader said.

A 2016
awardee of The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL), Dar emphasized
that the department’s policies and programs must be innovative, transformative,
and consultative.

particular, the programs and projects should pass the five-way test. They should
be productive, competitive, profitable, resilient and sustainable,” he said.

his first 100 days in office, he intends to ensure the proper and efficient
implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, particularly the management of
the P10-B RCEF and the formulation of Rice Industry Roadmap. Philippine Rice
Research Institute, where he serves as the chair of its Board of Trustees, is in-charge
of the seed component.

Dar also said the department will work with the top 10 rice producing provinces to help them directly buy, process and sell rice. Available credit will also be ensured to the top-rice producing provinces.

us all unite to provide graft-free, swift, quality, service to our beloved farmers
and fishers, agri stakeholders, and partners. Join us in nurturing [harvest
and income]
,” he

As DA secretary
under the Estrada administration, he supported and ensured the implementation
of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, which resulted in a 9.6% agricultural
growth. He
also led the International Crops Research
Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,
a global agricultural research
institute, which helped farmers in India, Africa, Philippines, and other
dryland countries. Dar has quadrupled the income and investments poured into
this institute, from USD 21M in 2000 to USD 85M in 2014.  

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute