THE Department of Agriculture (DA) sees technological innovations boosting farm productivity and competitiveness in the country.
“Innovation is not merely the creation of a new idea but the evolution and widespread dissemination of enhanced policies, products, processes or services,” DA-Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE) Assistant Director Juana Tapel said in her presentation during the 25th Davao Agri-Trade Expo held from September 28 to 30, 2023 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The event showcased an array of solutions, technologies and innovations that can empower Filipino farmers and boost their competitiveness in the global market.
Tapel also said that innovation in agriculture “extends beyond mere technological advancements like apps, drones or farm machinery.”
“It encapsulates a broad spectrum of social, organizational and institutional processes from securing market access and credit to pioneering methods of marketing produce,” she said.
Tapel also presented BAFE’s initiatives on agricultural innovation, including the Innovation on Governance through Digitalization, Renewable Energy Program for the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector and the Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering Central Hub.
For his part, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. President John Carlo Tria said that ensuring competitiveness is beneficial for farmers, agribusinesses and food producers.
“Embracing avant-garde technologies such as precision agriculture, IoT (Internet of Things), drones and autonomous machinery can augment efficiency, curtail costs and enhance productivity,” he said.
BAFE said that the government, civil society, farmer organizations, research bodies and the private sector all contribute to nurturing an environment that is beneficial to agricultural innovation.
“Agricultural innovation plays an indispensable role in tackling global challenges through enhancing competitiveness, promoting sustainability and fostering equality in agriculture,” said BAFE, noting this also enhances productivity and minimizes negative environmental impacts of production.
Moreover, the Agriculture Innovation System is set to strengthen research and development, as stated in the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan 2021-2030.