NAGA CITY—More than 200 agriculture stakeholders in Bicol converge in one of the hotels here for the Regional Food Security Planning Workshop and for the preparation of the Local Food Security Plan (LFSP) on September 24 – 25, 2018. The summit was attended by municipal, city and provincial agriculturists, agricultural officers, agriculture and fisheries council chairs, stakeholders, planning and development officers all over the Bicol Region along with the representatives from the Department of Agriculture-Bicol, National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Meat Inspection Service.

The output of the summit will be the Regional Food Security Plan will be presented during the National Food Security Summit this coming October 3-4, 2018 in Manila. The theme for the summit is “Mamamayan ko, Pakakainin ko.”

Regional Executive Director Dr. Elena B. De Los Santos encouraged the participants to craft the best LFSP since this will presented to their local chief executives. The plan is hoped to curb the rising inflation rate in the Bicol Region especially on food (rice, vegetables, meat, fish) and services.

De los Santos also suggested that LGUs should activate their local Bantay Presyo Team just like the deployment of 300 NFA personnel in local markets in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.

DA-Bicol Chief of the Planning and Program Section MaryAnn Cuya said that the workshop is geared towards food security, poverty alleviation, social equity and income enhancement of the Bicolanos. The scope of discussions include Palay/Rice; White Corn for Food; Vegetables; Livestock and Poultry; and Fisheries.

Cuya also presented the unrealized self-sufficiency gaps like inadequate irrigation infrastructure, low rate of adoption of technologies and mechanization, high cost of production inputs, inefficient supply chain and logistics systems, vulnerability to weather risks and climate change, competing uses of agricultural lands, environmental degradation, and limited access to formal credit and financing.

The two-day activity was capped with the presentations of LFSP by the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Masbate.(jaysonmgonzales with photos by Jun Collantes)