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Agriculture Secretary Piñol seeks 10-20 year National Road Map in Agriculture and Fisheries
By Leonardo V. Micua

DAGUPAN CITY, Dec. 29 (PNA) -- Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol admitted here Thursday he wants to leave a legacy that would ensure the continuity of programs and projects in agriculture and fisheries so that whoever will be the next leaders, these programs and projects seeking to ensure food security will remain.

Speaking to agriculture and fishery officials during his visit to the National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center (NIFTDC) here, Piñol said he is pushing for the putting up of a 10 to 20-year National Road Map in Agriculture and Fisheries which shall be put into the law and implemented by whoever will become presidents of the country.

The national road map, he said, will be drawn from the provincial road maps to be submitted by each governor of the country that whoever will be governor, the programs in agriculture and fisheries will be implemented in his or her province.

The sad thing is, whenever a new President comes, a new direction in agriculture and fisheries is set and the officials in agriculture and fisheries cannot say no, he said.

"But if we are able to put up a National Road Map in Agriculture and Fisheries that will span from 10 to 20 years, the programs we had in mind will continue," he pointed out.

He said even the United States has a 10-year National Road Map in Agriculture that was enacted into law and President Barack Obama cannot alter or amend it.

Piñol, who is himself a farmer, said the real problem in agriculture and fisheries in the Philippines is politics.

He said with the National Agricultural Road Map in Agriculture and Fisheries, "we can remove the influence of politics into the industry".

"The national agricultural road map can be improved with the infusion of additional funds but never to alter or amend it," he said.

Piñol and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) National Director Ed Gogona came from Sual, Pangasinan where they distributed bancas and fishing implements to marginal fishermen from 14 coastal towns of Pangasinan.

On his way to Baguio, Piñol was invited by former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia to drop by at NIFTDC, a 25-hectare research facility of the BFAR headed by Dr. Westly Rosario.

While at NIFTDC, Piñol asked Rosario to focus on three essential commodities like tilapia, milkfish, vannamae or white shrimps, sea cucumber and sea weeds which can immediately help the country attain food sufficiency. (PNA)

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