THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Dar enjoins European business group to invest in agriculture

Author: DA Communications Group | 7 December 2019

Presenting his “New Thinking” for Philippine agriculture, Secretary William Dar enjoined the members of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) to invest in agriculture during a luncheon meeting on December 6, 2019 in Makati City.

“We are committed to facilitating your proposed investments or projects, especially in agribusiness. The potential areas of partnership are boundless, so I invite you to invest in the provision of production, processing and marketing technologies,” Dar said after presenting the ongoing and planned activities at the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In his message, Dar enjoined Belgium Ambassador Michel Goffin to also invest in establishing of solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) as what the Israeli did.

“If you can bring in the same investment as the Israelis you are most welcome. The $200-million investment that we just have now concluded is not enough if we need to cover the countryside. We still have a big space for the company from Belgium,” he said.

During the meeting, Dar presented to the ECCP food safety measures being undertaken by DA, particularly the banning of pork and pork products from countries infected by African Swine Fever (ASF).

He added that all the meat and meat products that reach the markets are safe, having gone through proper documentation and processing.

He also informed the group that the prices of pork are coming back to normal. And this will help the hog raisers in the country.

Other areas that Dar raised during the meeting included inclusive agribusiness, which is the core of the “New Thinking” for agriculture.

“Inclusive agri-industrialization and agripreneurship will create employment and income opportunities to millions of smallholder farmers and fishers in the country,” he said.

Dar also mentioned crop diversification program as DA’s strategy to help farmers reduce their dependence on a single crop such as rice.

“Through crop diversification and projects for value-adding, our farmers could eventually, tap the export market and earn more,” the Agri chief said.

Dar emphasized the need to provide adequate support in the forms of agripreneurial skills training, sufficient and affordable capital and credit, production, and postharvest mechanization support, as well as further research and development.

“We have crafted an entrepreneurship program for implementation early next year to encourage the Filipino youth to venture into the local farm industry. We are allocating funds to serve as start-up capital loans supporting young farmers to develop their own agricultural enterprise,” Dar said.

The ECCP is a bilateral foreign group that promotes European interests in the Philippines and vice versa. Headed by Mr. Nabil Francis, it has nearly 800 members offering business network that can translate to business opportunities. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA Communications Group)


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