THE ENERGY and Agriculture departments have inked a deal to develop programs and projects that would tap renewable energy for food production.
The two departments met on Thursday to sign a memorandum of agreement on creating the Renewable Energy Programs and Projects for the Agriculture and Fishery Sector, which include initiatives on renewable energy and food security.
The programs seek to introduce more solar-powered irrigation systems, biomass gasifiers and small-scale geothermal energy to supply heat, mechanical and electrical power for farm machinery, post-harvest facilities and greenhouses.
It will assist local manufacturers, fabricators, and suppliers of locally-produced equipment of clean energy-powered agri-fishery systems, which will also comply with a standard that will later be established.
Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said in a statement they want to ensure the full utilization of the country’s “indigenous energy resources to boost our agri-food sector” during a pandemic, which highlights the importance of energy and food independence.
He said the partnership poses a “win-win” situation for both the energy and food industries.
“The DoE will contribute much in reducing the cost of production for the farmers and fishers,” said Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William D. Dar in a separate statement.
Both agencies are collaborating in the food and water security group led by Mr. Dar under the government’s task force on (COVID-19) coronavirus disease 2019.
The objectives will be carried out by a joint technical working group consisting of DoE’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau, DA’s Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Sugar Regulatory Administration, Philippine Coconut Authority, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. — A.J. Ang