The Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking private sector support for the formulation of national policies and programs that would fast-track the modernization of agriculture to increase food production and ensure food security.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel Jr. noted that sound policy recommendations, which prompt people’s participation and assurance of sustainable development, are key factors in maintaining a functional and holistic approach to dealing with the sector’s challenges.

“The collaboration of government and the private sector is crucial. We highlight the efforts and dedication of our partners in building (a) sustainable set of option for the future of agriculture and fisheries,” Tiu-Laurel said during the 9th National Agriculture and Fisheries Volunteers’ Day celebration and awarding ceremony of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF).

Since he was appointed as secretary in November, Tiu-Laurel has met with government officials, investors, industry experts, farmers, fishermen, and other sector stakeholders to gain support for the government’s push for food self-sufficiency, reduction of agricultural products importation, and establish agriculture as a career option for the younger generation.

“I would count on the support and cooperation of everyone in the DA, including you (PCAF), to implement the necessary programs and projects for our farmers and fisherfolk at the grassroots level,” he said.

The PCAF is an attached agency of the DA that nurtures private-public partnerships in policy development.

Laurel said private sector partners of the DA could also assist the national government in policy and project monitoring to “maximize the benefits derived from these interventions.”PNA