Bolstering the Agricultural Sector: A Pledge for Food Security in the Philippines

The Philippine government, under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., has made a resolute commitment to strengthen the agricultural sector and ensure a robust food supply for the nation’s population, which now exceeds 117 million. This pledge was reiterated by President Marcos during the inaugural rally of Bagong Pilipinas, held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on January 28, 2024.

In his address, President Marcos emphasized the government’s view of food production as a pivotal element in national development. Recognizing the critical role of farmers and fishers as the nation’s modern heroes, the government is channeling significant resources and efforts into enhancing the country’s farming and fishing industries.

To support the farmers and fishers, the government is taking several measures. One of these measures is the expansion of irrigable land, which will enable farmers to cultivate crops more efficiently. Additionally, the government is intensifying support for all types of crops, ensuring that farmers have access to the necessary resources and knowledge to maximize their yields.

Recognizing the importance of urban agriculture, the government is also promoting initiatives such as urban gardening. This includes the conversion of idle lands into productive vegetable plots, allowing urban dwellers to contribute to food production and have access to fresh, nutritious produce.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), in collaboration with other national agencies, launched a food production initiative in July 2023. This program focuses on the optimal utilization of idle lands in various penal institutions, aiming to enhance the country’s food self-sufficiency and ensure access to affordable, nutritious agricultural products.

Under a collaborative Memorandum of Agreement, the DA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) implemented the Reformation Initiative for Sustainable Environment for Food Security (RISE) Project. This project engages persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in agricultural activities, serving as a reformative measure and a step toward their eventual reintegration into society.

An impressive success of this initiative was recorded in early December 2023 at the Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan. A 4.5-hectare plot in the area yielded over 96 metric tons of rice, vegetables, and fruits, generating a substantial gross income of PHP 7.3 million. This achievement not only contributes to food security but also provides economic opportunities for the PDLs involved.

Bagong Pilipinas represents a national campaign dedicated to forging a resilient nation with a robust economy and a secure future for younger generations. It encompasses a comprehensive development plan designed to benefit all Filipinos. As part of this campaign, President Marcos emphasizes the enhancement of government services, highlighting the need to simplify and streamline bureaucratic processes and requirements.

By prioritizing the agricultural sector and implementing initiatives that support farmers and fishers, the Philippine government is taking significant steps toward ensuring food security for its growing population. With the expansion of irrigable land, intensified support for crop production, and promotion of urban gardening, the government is fostering a sustainable and resilient agricultural industry. Through collaborations such as the RISE Project, the government is also empowering marginalized sectors and providing them with opportunities for reform and reintegration into society.

As Bagong Pilipinas takes shape, Filipinos can look forward to a future where food security is strengthened, the economy thrives, and bureaucratic processes become more efficient. With these efforts, the Philippine government is paving the way for a brighter and more secure future for all.


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