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Boosting agriculture through innovations
by Ladylyn Jose - Wednesday, 27 July 2016, 12:04 PM
www.philstar.com: July 24, 2016

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration sees agriculture as one of the country’s major growth drivers but not without the stimulus technology it can provide, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

In a speech delivered during the annual meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Pernia said Philippine agriculture could be a lucrative industry with the right investments in technology and development.

 “With the help of science and technology and research and development, agriculture can be a lucrative industry that can foster food security in our country. Farmers with access to different varieties of seedlings and soil typing will no longer fear for their crops in the face of adverse weather conditions,” he said.

The same is true for fisheries with the proper interventions.

“Fishermen with knowledge of sustainable fishery need not fear about their catch during the dry season when fish tend to go deeper into the ocean,” he said.

Pernia said the government would promote the greater use of science, technology and innovation (STI) in various areas of development in line with its  10-point economic agenda.

“In NEDA we recognize the importance of scientific inquiry and academic discourse as the basis of development plans and policies. We believe that STI can help the country realize its economic potential and improve the well-being of the people,” he said.

He noted that increased technological advancements in technology and greater innovation would strengthen manufacturing, enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create products that can meet local and global demand.

“While much has been done by the previous administration in strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which comprise 99.6 percent of the country’s total number of establishments, we still have a long way to go. But through science and technology, and innovation, we can equip MSMEs with the technology that can create globally competitive products to meet the demands of the local and international market quality standards,” said Pernia. 

“Similarly, STI can support the manufacturing and industrial sectors to raise productivity, foster the creation of high-value products, and improve the quality of their products,” he added.

Other areas of development that can benefit from increased advancement in technology are power, healthcare, and government functions.

“Time and again, our new President has uttered that he does not want to see people lining up for government services. This is why a major flagship item in the policies of the president is to reduce red tape to the minimum. We believe that aside from promoting productivity in government offices, STI can also provide solutions in avoiding long queues and long waiting time for frontline services, especially those that inconvenience the daily activities of ordinary citizens,” he said.

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