Food Summit 2008, country's platform for rural dev't thrust
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu, Philippines (25 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to convene the food summit to enhance policies and programs, attract investments and technology, and launch development projects that would impact favorably on food supplies and prices in the medium term, while helping significantly arrest climate change.
"The food summit would be the platform for our rural development thrust," the President said.
Thus, the Department of Agriculture (DA-7) in the region reported during the RDC-EDC meeting recently that the Food Summit 2008 will happen from February 19 to April 4, 2008 in various venues throughout the country.
It will include pre-summit activities and area-wide consultative workshops from February 19 for the Luzon-A covering CAR, regions 1, 2 and 3; February 22 for the Luzon-B covering regions 4-A, 4-B and V while Mindanao-A covering regions 9, 10 and CARAGA will have their consultations on February 26 and Mindanao-B covering regions 11, 12 and ARMM will have their consultations on February 29.
The Visayas area covering regions 6, 7 & 8 will hold their area-wide consultative workshops on March 5 at the Crown Regency Suite in Mactan, Cebu.
On March 11, leaders of national farmer/fisherfolk organizations, heads of national industry and professional associations, heads of industry champions, experts from the academe, members of STAG and international experts will meet at the BSWM Convention Hall to discuss and come up with policy action points on land constraints for food production; rice and white corn sufficiency; cost of inputs; food quality and safety; logistics; nutrition; credit and investments; income and food consumption; and climate change.
The Donors' Forum on the other hand will be conducted on March 14 with representatives of donor countries and agencies, heads of multi-lateral agencies and corporations, heads of development agencies, heads of national government agencies and local government executives attending.
The National Summit Plenary is scheduled on April 4 at the Manila Hotel and will be participated in by the provincial governors, heads of the national farmers/fishers organizations, heads of national industry associations, sectoral leaders, heads of national government agencies, legislators specifically committee on Agriculture in both houses in Congress.
According to the DA-7, the Food Summit 2008 gathers multi-sectoral initiatives to address food security issues and concerns. It will also identify strategic interventions and draw up operational framework to translate common agenda into action and strengthen collaboration with local government executives in the development and implementation of local action plans.
The Summit is also expected to come up with an inventory of current initiatives, interventions needed and strategic action plan on policies, programs and projects; areas of legislation and regular services based on commodity sector groups (rice and white corn, poultry, livestock and feed crops, fisheries and aquaculture, and high value crops-fruits, vegetables and other regional commodity champions. (PIA-Cebu) [top]