Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking the establishment of an agriculture information system (AIS) to help ensure an adequate supply of farm products, boost agricultural output, and reduce poverty down the line.
“The government needs to provide the infrastructure and the mechanism that would enable our farmers to sell their output where there is demand. Our vision is to help our farmers find their markets as this is key in reducing poverty in the country,” Gatchalian said, as he filed Senate Bill No. 1374.
The proposed measure provides for the creation of the AIS, to be managed by the Department of Agriculture (DA), which will serve as a dynamic online computer database where information on the demand for specific agricultural and fisheries commodities is gathered and uploaded simultaneously with the production data from farmers in every barangay.
As envisioned, the AIS shall merge and synchronize agricultural data from different sources into a cohesive database designed to facilitate linkages from the farm to the intended consumers, including global markets.
“Inaasahan natin na sa pamamagitan ng pagtatatag ng AIS, mas magiging maayos ang kabuhayan ng ating mga magsasaka at makakatulong na solusyunan ang problema ng kagutuman sa bansa,” Gatchalian added.
According to Gatchalian, the measure supports the administration’s goal of ensuring food security, especially during emergencies as the country builds a stronger economy. The measure is also in line with a commitment made by the DA to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that it would push for the digitalization of the agriculture sector to achieve its goals of reducing poverty and attaining food security.
Gatchalian said the proposed AIS was inspired by the Municipal Agricultural Information System developed by the local government of Mina, Iloilo which collects, sorts, evaluates, and utilizes agricultural data on farmers, their families, their activities, land, crop, and livestock production in real-time. Accurate information on any commodity produced in Mina serves as inputs for farmers to market their products outside of their municipality, ensuring them they get better prices for their products, which redound to improved and stable income for them.