Bottom row (left to right): First Secretary Imperial, Mr. Rory Jay Dacumos (NEDA), Ambassador Romualdez, Ms. April Therese De Guzman (DA-PRS), Deputy Chief of Mission Ascalon. Middle row (L to R): Agriculture Counsellor Lazaro, Mr. Zadieshar Sanchez (DA-PCC), Ms. Althea Mari Fiel Roxas (DOF), Ms. Justin Caoagdan (DA-BAI) Top row (L to R): Mr. Ralph Alan Ceniza (DA), Mr. Jude Christopher San Miguel (DOF), Mr. Zeam Voltaire Amper (DA-RFO 7), Ms. Diosamia Sevilla (DA-BAI), Mr. Escalante, Ms. Charmaine San Pedro (DA-NDA)

16 May 2024
Embassy Press and Information Section

WASHINGTON D.C. – Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez welcomed officials from the Philippine Department of Agriculture, Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority, who are participating in this year’s Cochran Fellowship Program conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in May 2024.  

Ambassador Romualdez advised the Fellows during the courtesy call to optimize this opportunity to learn best practices that could enhance Philippine conditions, particularly the livestock, grain and poultry industry, and help strengthen bilateral economic relations with the United States.  He would also like to pursue other training and exchange programs and research collaborations with the United States towards meeting Philippine development goals and priorities. The Ambassador was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Jr., First Secretary Dominic Imperial, Agriculture Counsellor Lupiño Lazaro, Jr. and Agriculture Assistant James Escalante.

The fellowship program on “Livestock, Grain and Poultry Forecasting” trains Fellows in methodologies and tools that improve crop monitoring capabilities and estimations of production of the aforesaid agricultural sectors. The training also provides the participants with an understanding on how statistics are used in the United States to develop effective agricultural policies and development strategies. 

The training includes meetings in Washington, D.C. with the USDA NASS, Foreign Agriculture Service Office of Global Market Analysis, and International Production Assessment Division.  Participants will also visit farms, commodity brokers, and agricultural information centers in Athens, Georgia. 

Overall, the training aims to improve the data collection capabilities and share best practices in interpolating data analysis for the next generation of forecasters in the Philippine government, particularly the Department of Agriculture.

The Cochran Fellowship Program, named after the late U.S. Senator William Thad Cochran, has been providing short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies since 1984.  A number of Cochran alumni are now agricultural leaders and/or occupying top positions in the Philippine government.  ###