Promotion of agri-fishery products forged in MOA
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (13 February) -- Filipino exporters and growers of agricultural and fishery products will soon find new markets abroad through a pooled resources and efforts of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Export Development Council.
According to Secretary Arthur Yap of the DA, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) covers priority categories in the agri-fishery sector such as fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, marine products, meat products, root crops, natural fiber, horticulture, plantation crops, wood products, herbal products, and natural ingredients.
The three Departments and the EDC agreed under the MOA to hold regular consultative meetings with the stakeholders, undertake market research on potential export and investment opportunities, and identify and negotiate possible sources of funds and technical assistance for the development of the agri-fishery sector.
Under the MOA, the four entities agreed to pool their resources and efforts to expand existing markets and tap new ones for Philippine farm exports through, among others, the exchange of information pertaining to production, export and investment opportunities, market access issues, and expertise in promoting agri-fishery products.
These signatory-entities also agreed to set up a technical committee that will craft the criteria for projects covered by the agreement and develop an annual work program to be approved and monitored by the Export Development Council, which will serve as the oversight body tasked to monitor the activities of the three Departments.
The DA press report disclosed that the Agriculture Department's aggressive efforts to strengthen existing export markets and tap new ones for agricultural products is in step with its Five-Pillar program, which covers higher public spending on 1) infrastructure, 2) technology and extension services, 3) postharvest and storage facilities, 4) expanding access to rural credit and 5) opening new markets here and abroad for Philippine agro-fishery products.
The agriculture Secretary on the other hand said that this program to sustain and accelerate farm growth and raise the profitability of agriculture for its small stakeholders is in compliance with the mandate by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo under her Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for the DA to focus on attaining food security and creating jobs, especially in the countryside. (PIA) [top]