The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through the Productivity and Development Center (PDC) successfully completed the Full-blown Impact Assessment of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization (AFMA) or Republic Act (RA) 8435, a study commissioned by the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The project aimed to: (1) validate the findings and conclusions of the earlier AFMA rapid assessment study, (2) assess in greater detail the outcome and benefits and costs of the AFMA implementation, (3) determine the current state of A&F Sector components, (4) derive conclusions regarding the effectiveness of AFMA in achieving the avowed goals of sector modernization, and (5) provide recommendations on policy reform for future directions or alternative programs for the further improvement of the A&F sector.
Beginning in June 2019 up to June 2020, the DAP-PDC conducted the Full Blown Impact Assessment of AFMA that covered the Luzon Island Cluster (also known as Phase 1). Given the initial findings and conclusions of the rapid assessment in 2015 and the results of the Phase 1 Full-blown Impact Assessment (FBIA), a need was identified to further confirm the results of the rapid assessment, this time expanding the sample base to also widen the “universe” of program beneficiaries in Visayas and Mindanao. Similarly, both phases of the study looked at the five main components of the AFMA law including its 13 chapters. The 13 chapters entail Governance and Regulations (Chapter 1), Budget and Finance (Chapter 2), Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (Chapter 3), and Strategic Agriculture and Fisheries Development Zone (Chapter 4), Credit (Chapter 5), Irrigation (Chapter 6), Information and Marketing Support Services (Chapter 7), Other Infrastructure (Chapter 8), Product Standardization and Consumer Safety (Chapter 9), Human Resource Development (Chapter 10), Research Development and Extension (Chapter 11), Rural Non-Farm Employment (Chapter 12), and Trade and Fiscal Incentives (Chapter 13).
To highlight the cross-cutting themes and analyses, as well as maintain a coherent narrative flow while enabling authors to switch perspectiveswith ease, the final report was divided into three volumes wherein Volume 1 comprises of cross-cutting components which include Chapters 1 to 4. Volume 2 presents the assessment of the focus sub-sectors covering Chapters 5 to 13, and Volume 3 consists of the study’s survey results and project documentation.
The study also employed a mixed-method research design which was specifically composed of secondary data review, Focused Group Discussions (FGDs), Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), and perception survey. For the conduct of FGDs and KIIs, a total of ten regions nationwide were covered which included Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6, 10, 11, and 12 from January 2020 to May 2021. These FGDs/KIIs were held for selected officers and personnel from regional DA offices, local government units and other concerned agencies, provincial, municipal agricultural officers, private sector representatives, members of civil society organizations, farmers, and fisher folks. On one hand, the perception survey was also conducted among the fishing and farming households in the country last May to July 2020 for Luzon regions (Survey Phase 1) and in May to July 2021 for Visayas and Mindanao regions (Survey Phase 2). The Phase 1 survey covered the provinces of Camarines Norte, Masbate, Nueva Ecija, and Aurora. The Phase 2 survey covered the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Cebu, Surigao del Sur, Negros Oriental, Norther Samar, and Leyte. These provinces were identified by selecting two regions to represent the extreme conditions of the benefits from AFMA (higher/lower benefits) in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, respectively.
As the project formally closes, the DA-PCAF emphasizes the significance of the study results in its ongoing government assistance efforts to address the sector challenges in the face of daunting health, environmental, and logistical challenges during these unprecedented times. More importantly, the sound recommendations from the report will remain highly-relevant in the coming years as the agriculture sector modernization calls for policy and structural reforms that need to be legislated and institutionalized. Also, as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recognized the department and the excellent programs under the leadership of the Agriculture Chief, Secretary William D. Dar in advancing the country’s agriculture sector by refocusing current interventions to lead a higher level of food production, and ensure food security in the midst of the pandemic, the DA-PCAF looks forward to a more agile, resilient, and future-ready programs and interventions to sustain and fulfill further the sector’s modernization goal.
The DAP through its Productivity Development Research Office is now ready to carve out a series of upcoming advocacy activities to echo further the results of the study through mini webinars and other information drive initiatives. A presentation to the National Agricultural and Fishery Council is also in the pipeline of activities for 2022 to share the results of the AFMA impact assessment. The DAP-PDC hopes to continuously embark on the conduct of in-depth studies for the agriculture and fishery sector, provide technical assistance as part of its development function to help increase adoption of current and new approaches for enhancing productivity and competitiveness in the said sector, and develop the capabilities of the sector’s key stakeholders. For more information, visit www.dap.edu.ph, or email email@example.com.