On 22 November, representatives of the Embassy of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), headed by Economic Minister Nihei Daisuke and First Secretary and Agriculture attache Tachikawa Jumpei, paid a courtesy call to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to identify key areas of agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and Japan
DA senior undersecretary Panganiban expressed the Philippines’ interest in seeking financial assistance from Japan, either through soft loans or the Japan Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers, to help support the DA’s programmes toward food security. In response, the Japanese envoys relayed that the Government of Japan was currently conducting an assistance program for procuring chemical fertilisers and facilitating fertiliser management in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO).
The bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Japan is also expected to benefit agricultural projects in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) by helping to provide farm-to-market roads, communal irrigation systems, and other initiatives. The officials also discussed Japan’s satellite technology for the surveillance and detection of banana diseases such as Fusarium wilt, which is currently posing a threat to the Philippine banana industry.
A more intensive discussion on areas of agricultural cooperation between the two countries is set to take place during Philippine President and Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s visit to Japan next year.