RAFC Chairpersons Lou Cabalde of Central Visayas (left), Esteban Conchas of Eastern Visayas (second from right), and Ricardo Provido, Jr. (right) all agree that they should first get copies of the draft resolutions for their comments before adopting it as Visayas Cluster resolutions. The resolutions were presented by HUCAFC Iloilo Chairperson Romeo Villanueva (second from left). (Photo courtesy of PDD-SMS)

Thirty policy resolutions were crafted in response to the pressing issues and concerns in the local scene during the 2nd Visayas-wide Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) Summit on September 12 to 14, 2018.

The two-day summit gathered some 60 AFC participants from Western, Central and Eastern Visayas to identify and discuss critical issues besetting the agriculture and fishery sector in the region.

The Visayas-wide AFC Summit serves as a convergence of all Regional and Provincial AFC Chairpersons and Coordinators in the region to exchange relevant ideas on the extent of roles and responsibilities of the AFCs on how to boost competitive advantage of farmers and fisherfolks.

The topics discussed where identified by the Regional AFC (RAFC) Chairpersons and Coordinators of the three regions during the summit’s planning workshop last June. Through the topics presented, participants can learn and come up with possible policy resolutions and recommendations for endorsement to concerned agencies and non-government organizations.

These include Rural Women Empowerment, Climate Resilient Agricultural Practices, Farm Tourism and the overview of the Coconut sector in the region.

“With the topics presented, we encourage you to voice out your concerns and be objective in the open forum. We are here to provide inputs and guide you in crafting sound policy resolutions,” said Floreliz Avellana, Partnership Development Division- Social Mobilization Section Chief.

The policy resolutions in Western Visayas focused on climate resilient practices in agriculture and farm tourism. Among the 10 resolutions, the participants suggested policies that would improve the state of rural women in the agriculture and fishery sector.

Central Visayas generated 10 policy resolutions that focused on empowering its women and the youth, strengthening its farm tourism, and climate resilient initiatives in the region through providing incentives for every amount of coastal garbage collected by its residents.

There were also 10 policy resolutions crafted by the AFCs from Eastern Visayas. The recommendations generated were about climate adaptation and mitigation advances and government interventions to assist and encourage the women and the youth to engage in the agriculture and fishery sector.

Aside from these, they also put in to writing their desire to organize the coconut industry as well as to create guidelines to boost farm tourism in their area.

“Crafting of resolutions is one help of the AFCs in providing a sustainable agriculture and enabling environment to achieve food security,” said Atty. John Titus Vistal, representative of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. in his message.

The policy resolutions passed in the summit will be endorsed to concerned offices within 30 days.– JC