Budget for agri research triples to P1.12 B (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture has beefed up the budget of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) to P1.12 billion this year as part of efforts to promote science-based agricultural development.

This year’s budget is more than three times the P281 million earmarked in 2010.

Based on the national expenditure program, the RandD (research and development) budget for 2016 is P1.33 billion.

During the recently concluded 11th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology forum and product exhibition, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala stressed the importance of matching agricultural RandD programs and projects with the actual needs of the agriculture sector, especially small farmers and fishers.

“We need to identify specific areas where the results of researches will be actually used for the betterment of the lives of our farmers and fishers. We do not want these to remain in research journals and gather dust in libraries,” he said.

BAR director Nicomedes Eleazar said with increased funding support and improved governance, the agency would be better equipped to conduct RandD aimed at improving the lives of many Filipinos, particularly those living in the countryside.

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With the Asean economic integration, Eleazar said the bureau has implemented responsive RandD programs to improve productivity and competence and deliver relevant technologies where and when they are needed most.

“With a more competitive ASEAN market, we do not only aspire to increase productivity, which merely focuses on production quantity, but also improve our competence,” Eleazar said.

William Dar, BAR’s pioneer director and former DA acting secretary, lauded the current DA and BAR leadership’s achievements in agriculture RandD and proposed these RandD milestones should be complemented with agribusiness incubation programs.

Dar, who also served as three-term director general of the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), added agriculture development should be pursued within an inclusive, resilient, science-based and market-oriented framework, which the DA actually espouses under its Agri-Pinoy overall strategic framework.