Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR)
William Dollente Dar, a farmer’s son, was born in 1953 in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. First and foremost a horticulturist, he has received his doctoral degree from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB). After his stint at the faculty of the Benguet State University (BSU) in the northern Philippines, he became the first director of the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in 1988. This was a period when the Philippines started to invest much in building a national system of advanced agricultural research institutes, such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute ( PhilRice). He was also designated director of the Philippine Council for Agricultural Research and Rural Development in (PCAARD) in 1994.
He became part of the governing boards in international research bodies like the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in El Batán, Mexico.
He also served for a brief while as Acting Secretary of Agriculture from 1998 to 1999 and as Presidential Adviser on Rural Development during the Presidency of Joseph Estrada. He was chosen as Director-General of the International Center for Research in the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India from 1999 to 2014.
He has written the book/eBook "Feeding the Forgotten Poor",an autobiography in which personal reminiscences serve as a vehicle for voicing concern for the dis-privileged. It takes up large issues and draws attention to orphan crops and hidden hunger. The book’s synopsis states that boosting food security and ensuring the small cultivators proper access to and a fair deal in the market have been the key areas of William Dar’s work as scientist, policymaker and administrator.
Dr. William Dar was conferred with MS Swaminathan Award for leadership in agriculture on the 24th of June, 2013.
On August 5, 2019, he was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte and took his oath as Secretary of Agriculture, a post he held two decades ago. /allolivar-miss