US-Philippines cooperation highlighted in US-Philippines food security dialogue

Washington, May 5, 2023 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today hosted a high-level food security dialogue with the Philippine Department of Agriculture, highlighting important bilateral efforts to address global food security and climate change.

Alexis M. Taylor, USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and Mercedita Sombilla, Philippine Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Regulation, chaired an interagency meeting with representatives from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) . The dialogue highlighted partnerships and programs that support food security in the Philippines and facilitate international efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Alexis M. Taylor, USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, and Mercedita, Philippine Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Regulation, at the U.S.-Philippines Food Security Dialogue Event, May 5, 2023. Sombilla poses for a photo.

Undersecretary Taylor announced two new initiatives to promote cooperation between the United States and the Philippines.

  • USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service launched a new faculty exchange program between leading universities in the United States and the Philippines to facilitate veterinary medicine cooperation, including addressing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues and technical barriers to trade. start.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the Business Council for International Understanding, is co-sponsoring an AgTech trade mission to Davao City and Manila, Philippines later this year. The mission will focus on agrochemicals and fertilizers, digital and precision agriculture, cold chain facilities, aquaculture, and other industrial sectors.

“The United States and the Philippines have a long history of cooperation and partnership in identifying and implementing solutions to address challenges that affect our citizens, nations and the world,” said Under Secretary Taylor. and the potential impacts of climate change add to the urgency of our continued cooperation, and we are pleased that the United States has a strong and committed partner in the Philippines.”

After the conference, members of the delegation traveled to USDA’s Beltville Agricultural Research Center to investigate biotechnology research aimed at improving productivity in the face of a changing climate.

The dialogue explored several US projects to strengthen food security underway in the Philippines.

  • The Building Safe Agricultural Food Enterprises program helps Philippine food safety regulators meet SPS standards and manage food safety risks prior to food export.
  • Philippine Coffee Advancement and Agricultural Enterprise Project to support capacity building of the Philippine coffee industry.
  • Development of gene-edited tomatoes in cooperation with the USDA and the Philippine Center for Crop Biotechnology through a material transfer research agreement on the FAS-Agricultural Research Service project “Application of Gene Editing Technologies to Improve Viral Disease and Insect Resistance in Tomatoes” to support
  • USAID’s DELIVER-E initiative launches a digital platform connecting farmers and buyers to move 422 tons of fresh produce worth $700,000, doubling incomes for nearly 600 farmers and sixfold profits for mid-sized businesses made it possible to increase the margin;
  • USAID RESPOND is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Philippines to promote reforms that reduce tariffs on critical meat products and inputs, promote legislation to enable land reform, and provide national sanctions for corn and rice production. We have helped lift restrictions.
  • USAID supports capacity building activities of Philippine agricultural cooperatives to facilitate their participation in national and global value chains. and,
  • USAID’s partnership with the Philippines under the US Government’s Global Water Strategy. The strategy will help improve the country’s long-term water security and facilitate food security and agricultural trade efforts.

The United States and the Philippines are also active in a series of global efforts to combat climate change, including the Sustainable Productivity Growth Coalition, Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM), Global Methane Pledge, and Climate and Clean Air Coalition. actively participating. Undersecretary Sombira said he will also attend his AIM of the climate ministerial meeting scheduled for May 8-10 in Washington.

Today’s food security dialogue builds on the October 2022 consultations between President Joseph R. Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Nov. It fulfills the promises of the Biden-Harris administration when he visited the Philippines. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and President Marcos underscored the importance of global food security and agricultural trade at his May 1 bilateral meeting during President Marcos’ visit to Washington this week.


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