Awakening the sleeping giant in PH agriculture sector

MANILA -- Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar sees a growing sense of optimism surrounding the country’s agriculture sector, which he described as a “sleeping giant” that needs to wake up from its slumber.

In a year-end press conference on Thursday, Dar expressed hope that the sector would continue on its growth trajectory after a major comeback in the third quarter of 2019 with a 2.87 percent production, reversing the -0.87-percent decline posted in the same period last year.

Dar said he expects the agriculture sector to attain a 2.5 percent to 3 percent production increase for the last quarter of the year.

“We are hopeful that this favorable condition will be sustained into the fourth quarter of the year to allow us to attain a full-year growth,” Dar said.

Dar, however, noted that there is still so much to do, stressing that a systematic development strategy must be pursued to awaken the sleeping giant in the Philippine agricultural sector.

“We really have to think outside the box. We have to invent, innovate, reshape if you want to unlock the sleeping giant of the agriculture sector,” he said.

“With the right policy and right strategies and mechanisms, this sleeping giant can become the force with which more contribution to the gross domestic product can happen,” he added.