Former agri chief bats for more investment in agri-business thru research

By Jade D. Miguel

MANILA, (PNA) — A former agriculture secretary and now head of an international research institute on Friday urged the government to invest more on promoting agri-business through the provision of higher budget on science-based research.

Dr. William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), during the 10th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition held simultaneously with the 27th Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) at SM Megatrade Hall, shared about the “Inang Lupa” movement, a social campaign that promotes further inclusive growth of the country’s economy through new innovations and orientations in agriculture.

In order to materialize the said proposition, Dar called for supplemental improvement on the government’s investment in science-based research.

He proposed a higher budget on research investment, which he said translates to the mainstreaming of agri-business.

Agri-business orientation to the farmers is the key to science-based agriculture, Dar stressed.

To further achieve the said objective, he has recommended that “small holder partners must be given opportunities to be part of the mainstream or the economic development and see to it that policies of the government must enhance their collective action.”

Aside from science-based research which can have a mutual benefit on agri-business, Dar has further encouraged the government to provide higher funding in 2015 budget to state universities so as to increase productivity and profitability.

”No nation can succeed without their investments in science and technology, their investments in agricultural research,” he noted.

By nurturing a market-oriented agriculture, Dar said, the country would not only become self-sufficient but also our farmers whose crops can be profitable if they are taught about the market strategies.

1st Dist. Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero, who is also present in the event, expressed her support for granting higher investment in research and thus would push for it on the upcoming budget hearing of the Department of Agriculture (DA) next week.

Even before, she said she had been coordinating with the DA-BAR (Bureau of Agricultural Research) in the inclusion of additional funding for science-based research.