Agriculture Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna said today institutionalizing involvement of the farmers in the decision-making process of the Department can be considered one of the biggest achievements of the DA under Secretary Proceso Alcala.
“Iyan ang magandang nagyari sa panahon natin, na-institutionalize natin ang involvement ng private sector, lalo na ang magsasaka, sa decision-making process,” De Luna said.
The Assistant Secretary echoed Secretary Alcala’s words that the DA will always be there for the Filipino farmer.
“Ang assurance natin sa ating magsasaka, ang Department of Agriculture, ay laging nandiyan. May consultations po kaming ginaganap. Ang atin pong kalihim, laging umiikot sa mga probinsya,” De Luna said.
He added, during consultations, the DA interacts with the farmers and asks them what remains to be done. Secretary Alcala is at the forefront of these consultations and has made it a practice to personally and regularly go to the countryside since the beginning of his term of office.
According to De Luna, the DA also intends to develop and nurture extension professionals because though information dissemination about the Department’s programs has become easier because of technology, person to person interaction still has its advantages.
“Iba pa rin iyong tinatawag na face-to-face, kaya isa pa rin nating programa ay ang pagde-develop ng future generation of extension professionals,” de Luna said.
With just a year left in office, the official said the DA has no plan of slowing down on the intensity of its targeted interventions. “Secretary Alcala continues to consult with the farmers and fishers in the community level believing that they are the ones who know what they need and gaining the trust and confidence of our stakeholders proved to be the major driving force on the successes on our programs,” de Luna said.
De Luna, who also heads the national rice and corn programs, said the historical harvest in rice and corn year after year could not be achieved had the farmers hesitated to participate in the government programs. “Given the right direction we are heading to, rice self-sufficiency and competitiveness in all other focused crops are not far ahead as the farmers already know what they have to do. The government just have to continue to invest on these efforts and trust the Filipino farmers,” he concluded. (DA-OSEC)
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy