The Department of Agriculture (DA) will develop a web-based information support system called the “Agri-Information Support Portal” to provide more efficient sourcing of agriculture information and data.

DA secretary William Dar stated that the creation of the portal is one of the top initiatives of the department to be undertaken in 2020.

“This is a purposeful, nationwide initiative that will link all the bureaus, attached agencies, and regions of DA so that we will know the universe of actions that these various agencies are doing to help the farming and fishing sectors,” Dar said on January 3 in a press statement.

The creation of the Agri-Information Support Portal is also a part of the Administrative Order (AO) No. 1, Series of 2020 establishing the policy framework and strategies for the said inclusive agri-industrialization and “new thinking for agriculture”.

The creation of the portal is to be in line with the effort to “industrialize Philippine agriculture, particularly in creating the framework for the digitization of farming and agribusiness activities in the country”.

It is one of the five orders mentioned by Dar including the following: Conduct a comprehensive review and audit of the list of farmer- and fisher-beneficiaries; Create a technical working group that will review and update the DA-wide rationalization plan; Establish an agriculture PPP or public-private partnership support system to formulate the necessary programs, partnerships and other mechanisms; and Adopt a quality standard performance to institutionalize a system of quality management, transparency, institutional accountability, and due diligence, through, but not limited to, ISO 9001:2015 certifications.

The web-based information system will also enable faster reporting of programs and projects, and enhance decision support mechanisms.

Based in the AO, the department’s Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), in consultation with the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy and Planning and the various operating units, bureaus, and attached agencies, will lead and implement the development of the portal.

“We have a wide range of stakeholders at DA, from the farmers, fishers up to the policymakers. We have a multi-stakeholders that we need to cater to including the tech-savvy millennials. Lahat sila ay considered as stakeholders ng portal na ito,” Dar added.

The units of DA, including banner programs and special projects under the department, are directed to provide regular updates in their respective activities to be shared with the Department’s Executive Committee under the Agri-Information Support Portal, as stated.

“We also want to highlight the children of the farmers as they will serve as infomediaries of the technologies which they can get from this agri-information support portal,” Dar said.