S&T, key to food security and sustainable agriculture, says Philippine Senator

July 29, 2011

Jenny A. Panopio and Sophia M. Mercado
July 26, 2011

Philippine Senator Francis Pangilinan emphasized the importance of the private sector and the challenge of governance and execution in applying science and technology (S&T) for the country’s development during the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST)of the Philippines on 13 July 2011.

Senator Pangilinan said that science and technology (S&T) is the key to meet the growing demands and that products and applications of S&T have enormous implications and repercussions in terms of addressing pollution and breaking down cost of production. Partnership and synergy with scientists must therefore be nurtured and given support. He also stressed that the private sector, which is a major player in the country’s agricultural economy by contributing a large chunk to the country’s GDP, must be ‘inspired’ by the government to invest in S&T. Included in this sector, he said, are the farmers and businessmen.

“If this sector becomes inspired, then these billions might become trillions,” he said. Despite these encouraging words, Sen. Pangilinan also said that the problem comes with the implementation of S&T policies. “Poor execution cannot be transformed into solutions,” he said. Aside from these concerns, Sen. Pangilinan reported that the government budget for agriculture this year was increased to Php52B, up from Php38B last year. “We can only achieve food security if we ensure that we put money into research and development, into S&T,” he added.

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