Marcos seeks digitalized food balance sheets for food security: Palace

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2023 06:45 PM

Screengrab from RTVM
Screengrab from RTVM

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr supports the creation of a digital farmer registry and food balance sheets in a bid to help the country's agriculture sector, Malacañang said on Thursday. 

During his meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC)’s agriculture unit on Tuesday, Marcos said the move will further digitalize the systems in agriculture. 

Addressing challenges such as storage, logistics, and the integration of the food balance sheet in the system "will be an effective way to go about reaching the country's target to attain food security in sugar, rice, coconut as well as livestock," the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said. 

"Well, if we can [get] digitalization in place as quickly as possible...everyone needs it. So that's what you need to do is you get the system in place, specific for the agriculture. Hopefully, it will become part eventually of the government system," said Marcos, who currently holds the agriculture portfolio. 

Video from RTVM

In a separate statement, Marcos said the digital food balance sheets aim “to promote transparency and ensure data-driven policy decision-making."

The digital food balance sheet would use real-time data and is expected to "increase the income of small-holder farmers and result in additional government budget savings," the statement read.

The PCO, citing the advisory council, said Kenya and Indonesia both use the method, but it could take at least 12 weeks to set it up. 

For it to be functional though, the advisory council proposed that the digital food balance sheet must be supervised by a committee from the private and public sectors. 

A food balance sheet shows trends and issues of the country's pattern on food supply in a specific period, the Philippine Statistics Authority said. 

"It gives an indication of the adequacy of food supply relative to the nutritional requirement of the population," the agency said. 

Marcos last year sought world leaders' support in investing in the country's agricultural production and food security efforts amid the disruption of the global food supply. 

Access to sufficient food, he said, is "the very basis of human security."