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YAP at SEARCA: Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap graced the welcome dinner of the 6th International Conference of the Asian Society for Agricultural Economists titled "The Asian Economic Renaissance: What's in It for Agriculture?" held on 28 August 2008 at the AIM Conference Center Manila. Sec. Yap revealed the challenges that the agriculture sector is now facing. Among them: access to fertilizer and credit by Filipino farmers, as recent statistics has shown that fewer and fewer farmers are now using fertilizers due to financial incapacities; thus, resulting to lesser productivity. "At the end of the day, after our intellectual discussions and scientific exchanges, we all have to act since all these issues relate to our food and economic security," he told Asian agriculture ministers and leaders, policymakers, university researchers, and representatives from developing countries. Over 250 participants from 23 countries convened for the 3-day conference hosted for the first time by the Philippines. It will run until 30 August 2008. (Maria Angela F. Abad, SEARCA, PR)

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