Dar tells FAO: PH has enough food during the pandemic

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has assured the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations leading global efforts to defeat hunger in developing countries like the Philippines, that there's nothing to worry about the country despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Agriculture Secretary William Dar (Photo credit: https://www.da.gov.ph)

During the recently concluded FAO regional conference for Asia and the Pacific in September, Dar pledged "bold and innovative action towards food security and livelihoods", a statement from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed.

“Let me assure you that despite the pandemic, we are trying our best to see to it that we have enough food production and food supplies, bringing them to the market areas or where they are needed the most,” said Dar in a courtesy virtual meeting with FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and Pacific (RAP) Jong-jin Kim.

With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide to help end global hunger.  

During the virtual meeting with Dar, Kim, who was appointed last month, conveyed his personal appreciation to Dar particularly his participation and contribution to the FAO regional conference.

“The Philippine delegation has actively participated in the conference aligning with other countries’ strong partnership to address and rebound from the damage caused by COVID-19 and other immediate concerns in Asia and the Pacific,” said Kim.

In response, the DA chief assured Kim that DA, at various levels, will be working strongly with FAO to ensure a high level of food security in the country working through various means to rebound from this pandemic.

He also mentioned how among the other sectors of the Philippine economy, only agriculture has gained a positive growth of 1.6 percent during the second quarter.

“This means that if properly nurtured and invested, and with all the partners like FAO helping, we can really unleash the potential of the Philippine agriculture to greater heights,” said Dar.

“I believe that the same support will be given under your leadership in the region, we will always be your strong partner moving the programs and projects of FAO not only in the Philippines but the whole of Asia Pacific,” he added.

The virtual meeting ended, with both parties pledging to support various initiatives transforming food systems and making them more sustainable, productive, and resilient.