MANILA, Philippines, Nov 18: On Nov 18, the Philippines received a significant agricultural boost with the donation of 800 million yen or P300 million worth of sugarcane farming equipment from Japan, as announced by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Kazuhiko Koshikawa, presented the grant to Agriculture Secretary Francisco “Kiko” Tiu Laurel Jr., Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona, and representatives of beneficiaries spanning Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Expressing gratitude for the generous contribution, Laurel thanked the Japanese government during the turnover ceremony at the SRA Compound in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. He highlighted the significance of the donation, consisting of 80 tractors, 48 sugarcane planters, 48 flail mowers, and 5 power harrows, all provided under the Japan Non-Project Aid Program.
Particularly acknowledging Mr Jumpei Tachikawa, the first secretary and agriculture attaché at the Japanese Embassy, Laurel emphasized the instrumental role played by Japan in the success of the programme.
Laurel underscored the importance of the Philippines’ partnership with Japan in addressing concerns related to affordable and accessible food items through modernization and mechanization. Emphasizing common interests, Laurel highlighted the growing trading partnership between the two nations, fostering prosperity and opportunity for their citizens.
The Agriculture Secretary stressed that modernizing Philippine agriculture is crucial for meeting the expectations of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and the public regarding more affordable and accessible food items. Mechanization, he noted, plays a vital role in reducing hard labor, addressing labor shortages, and enhancing the productivity and timeliness of agricultural operations.
Commending the SRA for its role in steering the sugarcane industry toward increased production through small sugarcane farmers, Laurel affirmed the collaborative efforts in achieving agricultural advancement and food security in the Philippines.
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