Medium-term priority research areas firmed up, consulted among pool of agri-fishery experts

After a series of data collection, multi-level analyses sessions, and integration workshop, components of the drafted National Agriculture and Fisheries Research for Development and Extension Agenda and Programs (NAFRDEAP) in the next medium term were presented and discussed with a pool of agriculture and fisheries experts during a five-day Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Workshop held on 3-7 October 2022 via Cisco Webex. 

DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) facilitated the updating of the NAFRDEAP 2023-2028 to realign and re-prioritize research for development (R4D) in view of the department’s current strategies and agenda. 

Experts coming from partner R4D implementing agencies: DA bureaus and attached agencies, state universities and colleges, as well as private institutions engaged in the agriculture and fisheries industry, and farmer representatives from various farmers cooperatives and associations participated in a series of breakout sessions on various commodity groups. 

The 273 participants engaged in an in-depth discussion on the firming up and packaging of value-added research areas and enhancing the cross-cutting themes and commodity research areas. Guided by commodity experts and focals, each group vetted the proposed pathways on various generated technologies. 

“It was a good [conference] and a good opportunity to voice out some opinions that are not considered threats by the receivers…the exchange in Monday’s and yesterday’s sessions [were] refreshing and encouraging,” said Lourdes Tanco, managing director of Mida Food Distributors, Inc. 

Lily Carreon of DA-CALABARZON, in her feedback, emphasized the importance of this initiative, now that the department is more focused on the research side. 

Napakalaking tulong po nito sa mga [regional field offices],” she added. 

UPLB vice chancellor for Research and Extension Dr. Nathaniel C. Bantayan, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the UPLB project team. He commended DA-BAR and its R4D implementing agencies for their contributions that improved the agriculture and fisheries sector in the country. 

In his message, Dr. Anthony B. Obligado, DA-BAR assistant director-designate for Research Support Services, underscored that the said workshop will lead to a strengthened partnership among stakeholders and industry partners which will greatly contribute to the department’s thrust and priority on food sufficiency. 

DA-BAR assistant director for Programs Joell H. Lales seconded. 

“We make sure that there is a very good model and collaboration—given the partnership that we have in DA, LGUs, public, and private sector. We make sure that there is an effective technology pathway, and a realizable impact pathway in each and every program,” he said. 

As part of the closing program, ways forward focusing on the internal refinement of the researchable areas across commodity and cross-cutting groups were presented. The NAFRDEAP 2023-2028 is set to be launched in December 2022. (### Diwa J. Velasquez and Geline Nicole A. Morillo)