Press Release
March 12, 2015

Villar cites R&D for agri growth and job creation

Research and Development (R&D) will help the agriculture sector and enhance the competitiveness of our farmers and farm workers, said Senator Cynthia A. Villar.

She said even the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has acknowledged the need to invest in R&D to increase the productivity of agriculture and boost job creation in the industry through science and technology. She said this will eventually hasten the growth in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFF) sector.

"I strongly believe relevant R&D and technological innovation can also propel the agricultural sector to greater heights," said Villar.

She related R&D is also important in the environmental factors such as climate change.

Because of this, the senator, chair of the Senate agriculture and food committee, said climate-resilient seeds or crops are crucial.

"We need to help farmers and growers adapt to climate change to ensure continuous supply," she said.

She noted that the threats of climate change are real and people are already reeling from its effects. The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable country to weather-related extreme events such as earthquakes and sea level rise.

She said our country is also directly exposed to multiple climate-related hazards such as typhoons in the northern and eastern parts of the country, floods in Central Luzon and in Southern Mindanao, landslides and droughts.

As a social entrepreneur, through the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG), Villar said one of her biggest realizations was the significant role of R&D technology when she established one livelihood enterprise after another.

"In fact, I would say the equipment and technology we used was the secret to the success of our programs," said Villar as she likewise encouraged everyone to embark on horticulture and vegetable agriculture.

She emphasized many jobs and livelihood can also be created and generated in the horticulture industry and vegetable agriculture.

"The beauty of horticulture-related businesses and vegetable agriculture is that you can start small, even in the comforts of your own home or backyard," she said.

She told urban or city dwellers to take up gardening even if they have limited space available.

The senator, together with Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala, recently launched urban agriculture, through an aquaponics farm in an open space in one of the subdivisions in Las Piñas City.

Aquaponics is the term used for growing fish and vegetables in an integrated system, even right in your own backyard.

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