The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON laid down action plans and initiatives during the 2021 Regional Food Security Summit held last April 7 and 8, 2021 online.

Private stakeholders composed of key players in the agri-fishery sector and other government agencies, including local government units collaborated with DA CALABARZON in developing the plans to tackle issues in agricultural production taking, into consideration the whole value-chain of each commodity from pre- to post-harvest.

The plans will serve as a guide to address key agricultural issues that were encountered and being encountered by agriculture and fishery stakeholders to ensure a continuous flow of agriculture and fishery products and food sufficiency.

The summit focused on how the Department can help the farmers and fisherfolk recover from their loss due to the pandemic and other calamities experienced in the region in recent times and to prepare for the foreseen challenges that they might encounter beyond the new normal.

โ€œWe want to be proactive [on initiating solutions ahead from the future challenges] rather than just being reactive [on the present problems],โ€ said Regional Executive Director Vilma M. Dimaculangan.

Among the goals that were identified during the summit is to increase the production of agricultural products by strengthening the relationship with the private stakeholders and by giving them continuous support through projects and programs to ensure that it will not only suffice the food demand in the National Capital Region but to give more of what is due.

Some of the plans for pre-harvest are training for farmers and agricultural workers on how to operate modern types of machinery and how to produce, instead of buying, their seeds; purchase modern types of machinery; a market survey for the farmers and consumers; purchase of bigger boats for the fisherfolks; and life support training also for the fisherfolks.

While the plans for post-harvest are as follows: provide additional temporary rice grain storage; encourage more farmers to be involved in agri-preneurship; introduce farmers to digital marketing to reach more consumers; and reach at least 30% of CALABARZON fisherfolk to join cooperatives.

These plans will be included and presented at the National Food Security Summit on April 27 โ€“ 28 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall. #### (Reina Beatriz Peralta, DA-4A RAFIS)