AGRICULTURE Secretary William Dar has ordered the upgrading of the department’s Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers (RIARCs) nationwide to launch the development of technology systems that would greatly improve Philippine agriculture.
Dar issued the order as stressed the need to capacitate the RIARCs in terms of good laboratories, facilities, and equipment so that they can do their job in research and translate research outputs into something that they can massively give out to the farming and fishing communities.
He also announced that the government will be allotting P50 million to upgrade each regional center’s capacity to do research and technology transfer.
The additional investment in RIARCs will be funded under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or “Bayanihan 2”.
Dar added that what Senator Cynthia Villar calls as technology-based farming should now be applied to improve the agriculture sector’s productivity.
High-quality seeds or seedlings, even breeds for livestock and poultry, among other innovations could be developed and replicated through the RIARCs and the Research Outreach Stations (ROS) in every region to improve yield.
“I’m with Senator Villar in terms of really having to reorient the system that yes, technologies and innovations are the engines of growth for modern and industrialized agriculture,” Dar said.
He also announced that DA would like to partner with the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) for the establishment of precision and digital agriculture center that would showcase the future of Philippine agriculture.
“This will be an opportunity for innovation to continue so you need to adopt the newer precision and digital technologies under Philippine condition before they are scaled up,” he stressed.
Dar furthr said that regular interaction between the DA’s research and operations group is also necessary to ensure that the programs and trainings to be implemented in the communities are technology-based or make use of technologies that improve productivity per unit area.