Agri dep’t to seek out more PPPs to boost farm, fisheries productivity

Agri dep’t to seek out more PPPs to boost farm, fisheries productivity

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it will seek out more public-private partnerships (PPPs) to boost the productivity of farms and fisheries.

In a statement, Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla said PPP projects will help the government and agriculturists to move towards industrializing their operations.

She said private partners might be deterred from investing by risks to agriculture like climate change.

“We can develop more and more PPP projects that would really push the agricultural sector further than what we really target,” Ms. Sombilla said at a forum last week.

She also urged the DA’s regional offices to “make a conscious effort to really look for projects that we can implement through PPP.”

The DA issued a special order (SO) last month directing its staff to organize events to solicit more private-sector investment in agriculture.

The SO said such events aim to promote PPP and forge partnerships with private entities that can bankroll critical projects that will deliver much-needed services to farmers and fisherfolk or bring them in as technical partners.

“Talagang importante ang mga PPP Forums like this (PPP forums like these are important) because I think this is the way to go to help the government,” Ms. Sombilla said.

Also pitched to potential investors were PPP opportunities to set up post-harvest facilities, agri-fishery industrial business corridors, and laboratories and testing centers.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has cited the need for government and private sector collaboration to promote agribusinesses and make it more efficient and raise the value of crops. — Adrian H. Halili