SEARCA, SGV craft 10-yr agri, fishery plan

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in partnership with SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV) was tapped by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to formulate the National Agriculture and Fishery Modernization and Industrialization Plan (Nafmip) 2021-2030.

The Nafmip, which is the 10-year directional plan of the Department of Agriculture (DA), was launched during the 2022 National Farmers and Fisherfolks' Month in May with former Agriculture secretary William Dar leading the ceremonial acceptance of the plan by agri-fishery stakeholders. Farmers and fisherfolk signed a pledge of support to the Nafmip.

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio said the Nafmip is anchored on the "New Thinking for Agriculture," including its nine paradigms which are the modernization of agriculture, industrialization of agriculture, promotion of exports, farm consolidation, infrastructure development, higher budget, investments for agriculture, legislative support and roadmap development.

Gregorio said the intent is to increase productivity and double the livable income of farmers and fisherfolk in the next 10 years.

He added that the bases in developing the plan include the priority programs and projects of the DA, focusing on the New Thinking for Agriculture and the relevant laws and development frameworks vital to agriculture and fisheries development.

To ensure the plan's inclusiveness and relevance, Gregorio said a series of consultations and validation workshops with different stakeholders was conducted, and among the stakeholders consulted are the DA regional offices and attached agencies and bureaus.

Presented and discussed with the DA and its stakeholders in cascading and technical workshops organized by SEARCA, Gregorio explained that the interrelated plans that form part of the Nafmip include commodity system-based planning, integrated spatial planning, and sustainable land and water management in the identification of suitable investment.

"To ensure that the plan will be properly communicated to the grassroots, thereby strengthening the participation of agri-fishery stakeholders, the Nafmip includes a strategic communication plan that provides detailed strategies on how Nafmip will be effectively conveyed from planning up to its implementation," he said.

Gregorio also noted that Nafmip was designed as a trans-administration plan with actionable strategies that transcend political changes and devolution, and whose preparation team comprised high-caliber experts and consultants from SEARCA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or FAO, and SGV.

The ADB directly hired Cesar Umali Jr. who served as the development planning specialist and team leader.

Dr. Marites Tiongco, agribusiness value chain expert, led the SEARCA consultants, namely Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr., agricultural crops, livestock and poultry expert; Dr. Caesar Cororaton, policy trade and regularizations expert; Dr. Maria Celeste Cadiz, editor; Dr. Cris Tiburan Jr., GIS expert; Dr. Cleto Nañola Jr., fisheries and marine expert; and Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez, sustainable land management expert.

The Nafmip was crafted in close coordination with the DA-Planning and Monitoring Service-Planning and Programming Division under the supervision of Agriculture Undersecretary Fermin Adriano and Assistant Secretary Agnes Miranda, who is also director of DA-PMS.