“Agriculture is the pillar of our economy.”
This was highlighted by Agriculture Secretary William Dar, as he addressed the officials, faculty members, and students at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in Bacnotan, La Union, during his conferment as Doctor of Philosophy in Development Administration (Honoris Causa) recently.
“Agriculture and food production activities continue to be the saving grace of the Philippine economy.”
Amid the global pandemic, Dar said that agriculture and food production activities continue to be the saving grace of the Philippine economy.
“I have been and continue to advocate for prosperity in rural communities that became more intense when we were appointed by President Duterte in August 2019, implementing programs that continue to make our ‘food heroes’ — small farmers, fisherfolk and entrepreneurs — more empowered, progressive, and prosperous,” the agriculture chief said.
“When called to serve again, I had the bigger chance to rally resources, government support, and partnerships towards a vision where the winners are the farmers and fishers, and the national economy,” the agriculture head said in his acceptance speech both in Ilocano and English.
“The harsh reality is that there is a lot more to be done, all of which must be undertaken amidst natural disasters, plant and animal diseases, a global health crisis, and food inflation,” added Dar, who received his 10th honorary doctorate degree from academic institutions here and abroad.
Aside from the food producers, “we must perform a balancing act, where we should also consider the welfare of the consumers, the vast majority of our people, as they face unemployment and hunger under the lingering pandemic situation,” he stressed.
With these conditions, Dar called upon the support of the academe, particularly the DMMMSU family, to remain a reliable ally of the Department in the promotion and development of agricultural and fishery technologies and innovations.
“I challenge you to do the greater good for the greater number of our people.”
“Help us at the DA fight hunger and poverty. I challenge you to do the greater good for the greater number of our people,” he said.
Dar further urged the state university for a stronger convergence between research and development to address the challenges that hinder the transformation of the agriculture and fishery sector towards modernization, industrialization and global competitiveness.
“I know we cannot do everything at once as much as we wanted to, but continue to focus on your strong areas. Be game-changers and history-makers in agriculture,” he concluded.