In 2020, the GALING-PCAARRD (Good Agri-aqua Livelihood Initiatives Towards National Goals) was introduced by the DOST-PCAARRD as a response to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to the Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources (AANR) sector.
During a virtual presser, DOST-PCAARRD executive director Reynaldo V. Ebora said that this program aims to provide information, technology, and livelihood to communities affected by the health crisis.
He adds that GALING-PCAARRD continues to promote innovations using science and technology for sustainable food production, profitable livelihood, and a stable environment.
The GALING program originally had three components but PCAARRD later widened its scope and added three more to serve the needs of other communities in different regions.
The first few components focused on the distribution of technology, knowledge, food, and livelihood for Filipinos. The remaining components aim to address other issues and streamline systems. This includes rebuilding the AANR sector, offering urban agriculture technologies and providing assistance to food production and livelihood projects, and enhancing the food value chain for select commodities.
Some program accomplishments per component
Under the “Teknolohiya-Kaalaman para sa Pamayanan,” the agency was able to produce and disseminate Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials like pamphlets and videos of different topics.
They were also able to distribute food, disinfectants, and other essential goods to affected groups and frontliners under the program’s second component called Lingkod Alalay sa Pamayanan (LingAP).
Moreover, farmers are now being trained and guided in managing their agribusinesses through the Smart Food Value Chain program. As per Ebora, this resulted in higher yields and efficient distribution of agricultural products in local markets.
There are currently 80 projects (49 of which are now being implemented) and 16 initiatives approved under different components of the GALING-PCAARRD program.
DOST secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said that this program is the result of decades of excellence and innovation of DOST-PCAARRD in the protection and development of the Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources (AANR) sector. Through the project, the needs of many communities have been heard and addressed.
The term “GALING” can be defined in many ways, according to the DOST-PCAARRD executive and deputy directors.
It means healing and recovery from challenges brought about by the pandemic, but it can also mean excellence manifested in research and collaboration.
Ebora stressed that the GALING project is more than simply a pandemic response; it has evolved into a flagship program, with components that can be adjusted to be suitable or applicable for future challenges or needs of the industry.
Further updates and accomplishments of this program will be featured in an online series, Lakbay GALING, which will be posted on DOST-PCAARRD’s official YouTube channel every second Thursday of the month.
For more information, visit DOST-PCAARRD