Bringing closer the producers and processors including the agri-entrepreneurs and wellness enthusiasts in one venue, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office I through the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division launched the 2018 ASPIRE – an Agri-Aqua Trade Fair held at Robinson’s Place in Calasiao, Pangasinan.

A three-day activity that started on June 22 to 23, 2018, the ASPIRE which stands for Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Exposition is a collaborative project between and among the Department of Agricultue, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) – Northern Luzon Chapter.

Graced by no less than DA’s Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing, Pompeye La Viña, the ASPIRE project is one of DA’s response to improve market access for both the consumers and producers as well as to integrate and consolidate all efforts of the LGUs, private sectors for better promotion and marketing of agri-fishery products.

DA-RFO I’s Regional Executive Director, Lucrecio Alviar, Jr., represented by OIC-Regional Technical Director Erlinda Manipon noted in her message the sufficiency of supply of the major commodities in the region and how the DA integrates to other agencies such as DTI and the Department of Science and Technology to innovate and make value-adding activities for higher value of farmers’ produce.

With the DA’s focus on agribusiness where farmers are encouraged to not only produce but to become better business managers in their own farms, she called as well for the other stakeholders like the out-of school youths, retirees and other professionals to engage in agriculture to prove that farming is also a profitable business.

In her briefing about the ASPIRE project, Ms. Luzviminda Tolentino, Chief of the Agribusiness Investment & Promotion of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service of the DA-Central Office elaborates the objectives of the project and how it contributes to the attainment of the DA’s thrust on food sufficiency, availability and affordability for all.

With the launching of the ASPIRE project, Ms. Tolentino said that both the producers and processors’ requirements will be balanced such that producers are expected to have a good production, good price of the commodities and sustainable market of their produce while the processors are expected to be provided quality raw materials, reliability and sustainability of supply as well as competitive price.

Meanwhile, providing an avenue to promote their agri-based products and widen the market opportunities for the farmers and fisherfolk in the region, 40 exhibitors joined the trade fair where several fresh and processed products were displayed for the enjoyment of the buyers.

Aside from the trade fair, the ASPIRE project also gave opportunity for the attendees to be updated with the basic requirements in putting up a business enterprise and learn some tips and industry secrets via the investment forum conducted during the three-day event with lectures from the DA-RFO I, DTI, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Land Bank of the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology as well as the PCCI.

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