The Philippines is reaping fruits of its agricultural collaboration with China in increasing food supply and safeguarding food security in the country, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Friday.
Dar made the remarks at a ceremony marking the inauguration of new breeding laboratories at the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) in Munoz city in Nueva Ecija province, north of Manila.
Dar said PhilSCAT, as an important initiative aided by China,
has helped the Philippines increase its rice production thanks to the introduction of hybrid rice introduced from China.
“We can use agricultural technology to increase our local food production, and hybrid rice technology is one on top of the other interventions like good agricultural practices,” Dar told reporters.
Dar also thanked China for donating urea fertilizer and farm machinery units to help ensure food security amid the global food supply challenge. “Unity is needed in this time of crisis for us to sustain food security in this country,” Dar said.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said the project has undergone three development phases over the past two decades. “Proud to see this project bore rich fruits and became a model of agricultural cooperation between our two countries,” he said.
“We hope that we will continue to work even closer together with the Philippines to improve the people’s livelihood and ensure food security,” Huang added.
Established in 2001, PhilSCAT was dedicated to enhancing communication and technical cooperation in agriculture.
The third phase of the technical cooperation, which was launched in 2018, aims for expert exchanges for technical cooperation, high-yielding hybrid rice cultivation, and establishments of seed production technology demonstration sites.