Apec exec urges farmers to embrace technology to boost yield
BORACAY, Aklan – A senior Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) official said farmers should not shy away from science-based agriculture, which would help them increase their harvest and prolong the shelf life of their crops.
In a press briefing Tuesday, Ambassador Laura del Rosario said farmers tend to shun science and technology.
“The problem with some of our farmers is that they are wary that anything which is science-engineered is dangerous. I may be wrong with my impression. But [we have to] look at it from the point of view of resiliency and longer shelf life,” Del Rosario said.
She cited the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Laguna that leads the scientific research for agriculture.
Del Rosario, also a Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for international economic relations who chairs the Senior Officials’ Meeting for Apec, said there is a need to increase yield and improve shelf life because of the growing consumer population.
“If you want products which are more resilient and [if you want to] produce more hectares or acres [of yield], you have to use science and technology… With growing population plus the sharing of agricultural farmlands, we have to improve yield per hectare of our farmland. Science would definitely go into that,” Del Rosario said.
Asked about the tendency of students to shy away from studying agriculture, commonly known as the poor man’s sector, Del Rosario said a scientific approach of viewing agriculture as a field of manufacturing would encourage students to get into the sector.
“Agriculture services are science based, and people tend to neglect or try not to understand this… Agriculture is like manufacturing because you manufacture food from the soil. [If viewed this way], then maybe agriculture will not become something that people will run away from,” Del Rosario said.
The Philippines is hosting this year’s Apec, a delegation of 21-member economies. The country hosted Apec ahead of the Asean integration in 2015. It hosted the Apec leaders meeting for the first time in 1996.
The country will host on Wednesday the second leg of the Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings here, also as a way to promote the island as a premier summer destination among Apec member economies. AC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.