New DA Secretary blasts agency officials for using outdated data in analysis

  • New DA Sec. Manny Piñol blasted agency officials for using outdated data in their analysis
  • During one of his first briefings in the DA, Piñol discovered the use of 40-year-old soil samples
  • “Success in agriculture is all about correct data, right strategy and immediate action,” he said

Newly installed Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol called out officials of the agency for using outdated data in coming up with policy analyses.

In particular, Piñol criticized the use of 40-year-old samples for soils analysis data during one of his initial briefings with DA officials.

“[I]n the first briefing I received from officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA), I found out that the soils analysis data used by the department in waging a war against hunger were actually gathered over 40 years ago,” he explained in a Facebook post.

According to his account, when he confronted the officials, Piñol was told by the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) that its request for additional funding to conduct soil mapping had been denied but the Agriculture Secretary said he currently had no way to verify the claim.

In response, Piñol gave DA officials 45 days to complete a nationwide soil testing and sampling which would help farmers determine appropriate crops and fertilizers to be used in the next planting season.

“In the end, I told the [officials] to submit to me an estimated budget requirement for the conduct of a national soil testing so that President Rody Duterte’s order for DA to come up with a Color Coded Agriculture Guide Map would be realized during the first 100 days of his term,” he added.

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