One of the groups of chairpersons and members of RAFC and PAFC Region 6 Sectoral Committee roll out their agenda for the Sectoral Consultation-Workshop.

More than 30 Regional and Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAF and PAFC) sectoral committee chairpersons and members gathered at the RAFC Sectoral Consultation-Workshop of Region 6 on May 12 to 13, 2016 at the Nature Trails in Sibunag, Guimaras.

The two-day workshop was intended to identify the sectoral policy issues and concerns challenging the implementers and stakeholders in Region 6.

To provide more focus on specific commodities, the AFC sectoral members were divided into four groups based on their areas of concerns. These include Food Staples and Climate Change; Poultry and Livestock/Rural Women; Commercial Crops/Organic Agriculture; and Mechanization / Fisheries and Aquaculture.

As the sectoral representatives of the AFC, the participants embody the sectoral committees in their respective regions and provinces.

As the sectoral representatives of the AFC, the participants embody the sectoral committees in their respective regions and provinces.

Meanwhile, Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries – Policy Development and Coordination Division (PCAF-PDCD) Chief Julieta Opulencia updated the AFC members on the NAF Council and National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees’ (NSCs) policy recommendations and resolutions adopted and endorsed for the first
Quarter of 2016.

Aside from this, Opulencia also discussed the proper identification of priority policy agenda at the AFC level during the workshop.

Policy agenda refers to the issues, lists of subjects or problems of a specific policy domain, which are agri and fishery related, that will be discussed in a NSC or AFC meeting.

“The AFC of Region 6 can use NSCs’ identified priority policy agenda as reference in setting the council’s agenda for the meetings. They can also identify current and emerging issues at the local level which can be resolved either through a project or policy agenda,” the PDCD Chief added.

In the resolution, the issues and concerns which require the crafting or updating of a policy, the council has to recommend through a policy resolution in order to address the gaps that hamper the growth and development of the respective sectors.

In the workshop that ensued, one of the issues and concerns emphasized was insufficient number of technical personnel and expertise in the Local Government Units (LGUs) to oversee a smooth and expeditious implementation of programs and projects related to mechanization to complement with the concerned agencies. The group recommended the creation of Agricultural Engineering Division at the LGUs.

The need to have good quality planting materials of high value crops like coffe and cacao, and lack of testing laboratories for water, soil, organic fertilizer and pesticide residue were also identified. One of the committees moved for the adoption of a resolution to fast track the accreditation of Alaguisoc Farmers and Producers Association, Inc., as a source of quality planting materials. They have also recommended requesting DA to provide tissue culture laboratories in Region 6.

The workshop outputs will be presented in a RAFC meeting for further discussion and finalization. After the meeting, appropriate policy recommendations on resolutions can be adopted for endorsement to concerned agencies.

The sectoral meeting coincided with the Farmer’s and Fisherfolk’s Day celebrated during the 23rd Manggahan Festival of the Province of Guimaras.