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Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William "Manong Willie" Dar stresses the "steering and rowing" strategy as an effective approach in forging a partnership with LGUs to implement programs and projects for smallholders in the agriculture sector.

In a dialogue with Davao Region provincial leaders held September 15 at the Davao del Norte Capitol in Tagum City, Manong Willie says the DA (being a national agency) must do the steering functions by getting inputs from and actively make LGUs implement national agricultural projects and programs or make them involved in the "rowing" function.

"Leveraging and counter parting is the name of the game, you have the IRA [Internal Revenue Allotment] and other resources which you can leverage with us," Manong Willie says to the provincial governors in the region. He said a national Food Summit will be conducted in October to design a provincial-led agricultural extension system.

This will be participated in by provincial governors, agriculturists, and veterinarians across the country. Manong Willie discussed the major issues currently confronting the agriculture sector, which include low buying price of palay and copra, preventive measures on African Swine Fever, banana Fusarium Wilt, and implementation Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. Details on the issues discussed will be posted in our succeeding posts.

The significant event was hosted by Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib and joined by Davao del Sur Governor Douglas RA Cagas, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, Davao del Norte 1st District Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez and 2nd District Congressman Alan Dujali. Also present were Former Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy, representing Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, and Mr. Meloy Tamayo, representing Governor Claude Bautista, Asst. Davao City Agriculturist Vienvinido Pugoy representing Mayor Sara Duterte, and Dr. Rowena Gonzaga, representing ComVal 2nd District Congress Ruwel Peter Gonzaga. | via RAFIS 11