As a pivotal step toward environmental sustainability and infrastructural advancement, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., leading the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, has approved 194 infrastructure projects under the Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs). The groundbreaking decision, part of the government’s sweeping “Build Better More” Program, includes the nod for the Renewable Energy Program for the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector (REPAFS), ushering a transformative era for the nation’s agri-fishery landscape.


Among the approved IFPs is the Renewable Energy Program for the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector (REPAFS), spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE). Recognizing the urgent need for sustainable practices in the agri-fishery sector, REPAFS aims to integrate renewable energy (RE) technologies and systems.


Recently endorsed as an IFP by NEDA, REPAFS is set to revolutionize the agriculture and fisheries sector by providing readily adoptable RE technologies and crucial support services, according to DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico. REPAFS will play a pivotal role in the effective implementation of RE in the agri-fishery sector, aligning with the National Agricultural and Fishery Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP) and the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), Dir. Rico elaborated.


The Workshop on the Assessment and Recalibration of Targets of REPAFS held on November 28 and 29, 2023 was attended by representatives from the Department of Energy, various DA bureaus, attached agencies, and corporations involved in RE projects


In his opening remarks, Dir.  Rico emphasized the significance of REPAFS as a blueprint for the effective implementation of RE technologies. The program, managed by DA-BAFE, is poised to achieve ambitious targets spanning from 2022 to 2030. These targets include the installation of solar-powered irrigation systems, solar PV systems for diverse applications, ram pump irrigation systems, wind pump irrigation systems, solar tunnel dryers, flatbed dryers with biomass furnaces, and biogas digesters/plants.


Engr. Analyn Sagana of BAFE-EPDSD emphasized the crucial role of ongoing Research and Development (R&D) activities in advancing renewable energy (RE) technologies. This commitment to innovation aligns with the collaboration between BAFE-EPDSD and the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (DA-BAFS), ensuring strict adherence to established standards. Compliance of technology generators and implementers will be evaluated relative to the established standards, such as the PNS/PABES on Solar-Powered Irrigation System and Biogas Systems. Set to be introduced in the agri-fishery sector from 2025 to 2030, these repackaged technologies exemplify a forward-looking approach to sustainable energy solutions.


To ensure veracious implementation of the program, the BAFE has conducted assessment of the initial undertakings of the program starting FY 2022. Apparently, government interventions focused on using solar energy to power facilities in various crop production areas in the country.


Similarly, Human Resource Development will be an integral component of the REPAFS through roll-out of TESDA-developed training regulations on Biogas Systems Installation and Maintenance with National Certificate III and Solar Powered Irrigation System Operation and Maintenance with National Certificate II.


The recalibration workshop not only served as a venue for evaluating targets and accomplishments but also fostered collaboration among various DA implementing offices. By finalizing performance indicators, addressing concerns, and sharing best practices, the workshop exemplified the commitment to realizing a sustainable and energy-efficient agri-fishery sector through the REPAFS initiative. As the Philippines marches towards a greener future, the REPAFS program stands as a testament to the nation’s dedication to innovation and sustainable development. ###(Marshall Louie M. Asis, MC/ DA-BAFE)