“We are in one family. Help us share to the public what the DA is doing right now.”

This was the message of Agriculture Secretary William Dar to the members of the Philippine Agricultural Journalists, Inc. (PAJ) during the launching of the 2019 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards on December 3, 2019.

Citing his personal story, Dar underscored the importance of journalism in disseminating the results and activities by the department. He said in his core group, he always sees to it that there will be a writer involved to properly disseminate and articulate the information.

He also encouraged journalists to find balance on good and bad news.

In relation to the department’s programs in promoting agriculture to the youth, Dar said the department is looking for any possible additional funds to support its loan assistance for students and new graduates.

He said the program targets to provide loan assistance amounting to P250,000 to P500,000 based on the feasibility studies submitted by applicants. The zero-interest loan is payable in five years.

“There really is a need to fund start-up businesses of the youth in agriculture,” he said.

“This is the time to help the department encourage the younger generation to go back into farming,” Dar said.