Philippine agriculture improves through innovation and modernization

Ban Pa Bong Piang Rice Terrace is located in Mae Jaem District, Chiang Mai Province. It is another rice terrace attraction that is currently gaining popularity among tourists and photographers. During September- the end of October, the ladder rice fields at bang Pa Bong Piang will still be green but when it comes to early-mid November, the rice fields will turn into splendid gold. It is regarded as one of the finest and the most beautiful rice fields in Thailand. Ban Pa Bong Piang Rice Terrace is another rice terrace attraction that is currently gaining popularity among tourists and photographers. During September- the end of October, the ladder rice fields at bang Pa Bong Piang will still be green but when it comes to early-mid November, the rice fields will turn into splendid gold. It is regarded as one of the finest and the most beautiful rice fields in Thailand.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. recently highlighted the critical need for modernization in the Philippine agriculture sector to address various challenges and stimulate sustainable economic growth. During his address to key stakeholders, he pointed out that despite agriculture employing nearly one-fifth of the Filipino workforce, it contributes less than 10% to the country’s GDP.

The sector faces significant hurdles, notably an aging farming population, with the average age of Filipino farmers at 56. “The major challenge we confront is ensuring profitability in farming,” Sec. Tiu Laurel stated. “The solution lies in adopting technology-driven farming methods.”

He cited successful innovations in Hermosa and Dinalupihan, Bataan, such as small water impounding systems, fertigation techniques, and drip irrigation, which have significantly reduced fertilizer and water usage, enhancing resource efficiency and reducing costs for farmers.

Sec. Tiu Laurel is keen on scaling these practices through large-scale greenhouse facilities, inspired by South Korea’s extensive adoption of the technology. He plans to pilot these technologies personally before promoting their widespread adoption.

In addition to technological advancements, the Secretary emphasized the need for a paradigm shift in agricultural education, moving from traditional methods to modern techniques, and enhancing crop insurance coverage to mitigate risks and encourage the adoption of new technologies.

These efforts are part of broader initiatives by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to advance agriculture and fisheries in the Philippines. These include training fishermen in cutting-edge technologies, showcasing innovative agricultural technologies at the 2nd National Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Exhibition, and modernizing the DA’s electronic database to better support farmers and fisherfolk.

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