Research, development is vital for food security – expert

According to the director of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION (R&D) is vital for a country to achieve food security and social stability.

“With the food supply and systems challenge escalating, governments must rethink how they can reallocate existing government budgets to make them cost-effective and efficient, lower the cost of food, and increase the availability and affordability of healthy food,” said NFRDI Executive Director Lillian. Garcia made the announcement during the 6th Bulacan State Agricultural College (BASC) Regional Research Conference in October. December 13, 2022 in San Ildefonso, Bulacan.

Garcia said it is important to build strong and strategic research and development partnerships as it provides an opportunity for interested agencies to apply their expertise, leading to the development of innovative solutions and improved production efficiency through the sharing of facilities and resources.

NFRDI is currently collaborating with other research institutions, including public colleges and universities. These include internship programs, abstract consultations, collaboration on research projects, and exchange of information.

“There is also a need to forge closer partnerships through the R&D network with our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbors and other partners in the international community,” she added.

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Garcia mentioned areas of cooperation that could be in the form of information/expert exchanges, sharing of funds and resources for R&D, and the establishment of research consortiums within ASEAN and other international research institutions.

She also mentioned how adherence can make a difference in research. “We conduct research to become relevant in solving problems that affect people’s lives. In light of food security, we are committed to focusing our efforts on evidence-based information and technologies to increase production and ensure the safety and quality of food that is available and affordable. people, despite barriers,” she said.

In particular, she mentioned the implementation of the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) and the development and improvement of aquaculture technologies as examples.

“The goal of NSAP is to generate scientifically sound information about the state of our fish stocks in order to develop appropriate measures to ensure the sustainability of the resources. Meanwhile, we create and improve aquaculture technologies because we believe this is the most viable solution to increase the number of fish. producing and providing food on our table,” she said.

In all these cases, increased investment in R&D, especially in agriculture and fisheries, is vital. “While this remains a challenge, we are pleased that by 2023 the DA budget will increase by more than 40 percent compared to this year. The increase is still not enough, but it is a good development,” said Garcia.

She mentioned how closely related food security and social stability are. “If people are hungry, they are unhappy, and this leads to social chaos and conflict.”

“The noble purpose of research is to help solve life’s problems. Through research and development, we help build economies and impact people’s lives. Through research, we build lives!” Garcia added.