Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban met on October 10, 2022, with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN)’ 50th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome, Italy.
Senior Usec Panganiban conveyed appreciation to FAO for its ongoing assistance to developing countries, particularly the Philippines, in advancing progress and achieving sustainability to ensure food security. FAO’s consistent efforts in collaborating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other stakeholders in the Philippines have been vital in the viability of initiatives for a progressive, sustainable, and inclusive Philippine agricultural sector. One example of ongoing FAO support projects for 2022 includes the capacity development and experience sharing on South-south Triangular Cooperation, which the Philippines prioritizes.
FAO is a specialized inter-governmental agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. The Philippines is one of the founding members of the FAO when it was formed in 16 October 1945.
The Senior Undersecretary acknowledged FAO’s joint efforts with other international organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Program (WFP) , and the World Trade Organization in addressing global concerns.
The interagency solutions among these organizations led to global actions to address global concerns, such as the rising prices of food, energy, and fertilizer by:
- Providing Immediate support to the vulnerable by strengthening the safety nets of vulnerable households.
- Facilitating trade and supply of food by releasing stocks based on agreed rules and doable diplomatic solutions to address food availability and affordability in the short run.
- Boosting production by providing affordable farm inputs and identifying the private sector as the primary actor and working capital; and,
- Investing in climate-resilient agriculture by supporting resilient investments in agricultural capacity and developing climate-smart technologies.
The DA advocates expanding the volume and scope of FAO’s operations in the Philippines to include marketing projects and capacity building, among other things, and to attract collaboration with other countries and support from donors such as the WB, IFAD, and ADB.
The FAO Director-General applauded the President and concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, H.E. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for his strong leadership in agricultural development in the country and reaffirmed FAO’s unwavering commitment to support the Philippines. . Furthermore, the Director-General expressed confidence that the Philippines can be a regional leader in agricultural development.
The FAO DG also appreciated the high-level representation of the Philippines in the 50th Plenary Session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS50) convened from October 10-13, 2022, at FAO headquarters in Rome, which demonstrates the political will of the country to work with UN Member nations, the private sector, the civil society and all stakeholders in addressing hunger and malnutrition nationally and globally.. Senior Undersecretary Panganiban led the Philippine delegation to CFS50. A video message from Philippine President and Agriculture Secretary Marcos, Jr. himself was also presented in the Ministerial segment. [http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/6011/icode/]
The CFS50 Ministerial segment addressed coordinating policy responses to the global food crisis, endorsed policy recommendations to increase youth participation and employment in agricultural and food systems, and encouraged responsible investment in sustainable agriculture. In addition, the plenary celebrated the International Day of Rural Women and kickstarted the workstream on data collection and analysis for food security and nutrition. ### (Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa / DA-IAD)