Newly installed food security ambassador bares mission

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) -- Recently appointed Ambassador on Food Security James Reid says he is aiming to shed light on the importance of farming and its role in the country.

“I think that it’s something that we tend to overlook and something we shouldn’t take for granted. I believe that farming should be one of the biggest industries in the Philippines and it is something that the Filipinos should be proud of, so here I am today,” Reid told CNN Philippines’ News.PH on Thursday.

As an ambassador, Reid said he will use his voice for the benefit of the people who do not have it, specifically the farmers and fisherfolk. He said that there will be a lot of programs to promote agriculture, specifically urban farming, so that more people will be exposed to it.

The actor-singer also hopes that this will inspire the next generation of farmers by giving importance to present-day farmers.

“They are working tirelessly to provide us with food and they don’t get the credit and support they deserve, so one of the things that I want to do as ambassador is to make sure that we recognize the hardships they face and hopefully that attention will be the start of better systems for them,” Reid said.

Reid said farming is a way to achieve sustainability. It is through farming that households would not need to rely on other sources for food, which has become more apparent during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“The future that I can see is where our cities are on solar power and every home and city utilizes urban farming. It’s the only way we can sustain ourselves with a rapidly growing population,” Reid said.

“It’s something that is very necessary but it is also very interesting for me. I think everyone should have access to their own food and not have to completely rely on stores and companies to feed themselves,” he said.

Reid was appointed Ambassador on Food Security by the Department of Agriculture on Tuesday. This is amid challenges that Filipino farmers and fisherfolk face due to imposed community quarantine across the country.

The DA has rolled out programs to support people in the agriculture sector like loans and direct marketing assistance.