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PIA Press Release

Agri stakeholders gather in food confab

by Jobelle Llenas

Cagayan de Oro City (29 February) -- "Negosyo sa Sakahan Laban sa Kahirapan" " Pagkain sa Mesa Ramdam ko ang Kaunlaran" This was the theme of the Food Summit held last February 26, 2008 at the Grand Caprice Restaurant.

Then called National Food Congress, this Summit was the third of five clusters being held nation wide. The first two were held in Clark Pampanga and Metro Manila, while the next two legs are set for the cities of Davao and Cebu.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Jesus Paras led DA officials during the summit. Heads of the DA Regional Field Units (DA RFUs) also were present, with Dir. Constancio Maghanoy, Jr. (DA RFU-10); Dir. Oscar Parawan (DA RFU-9), Dir. Ric Regis (DARFU-13).

Also present were heads of the department's various programs, such as Dir. Milo Reyes (GMA Corn Program), Dir. Carlos Mendoza (GMA Live Stock Program), Dir. Francis Malabanan (GMA Live Rice Program), Dir. Rafael Espino (GMA High Value Commercial Crop Program) and Dir. Malcolm Sarmento of the Bureau of Fisheries.

Among the issues discussed were the effects of climate change to the country's food production and the sufficiency of the Mindanao area in producing food, especially rice.

Undersecretary Paras explained that they have been preparing for two possible scenarios, which are either drought or severe rain. Paras explained that the preparations were done because climate change has altered existing seasonal weather conditions.

Livestock, on the other hand, experiences very little effects since the environment is more controlled, clarified Dir. Mendoza. Dir. Sarmento, on the other hand, suggests fish farming so that like livestock, fish production would also experience little effects from climate change.

The event was an area-wide consultation covering regions 9, 10, and 13. Hundreds of participants from both public and private sectors joined the summit looking forward to learn ways to improve food production. (PIA-10) [top]

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