The Department of Agriculture in Ilocos Region is keen on establishing a Northern Central Market for Agri-fishery products along the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway Project (TPLEX) that will serve as a depot of various agri-fishery commodities including fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry and livestock without accommodating imported goods.

This idea, along with other suggestions from the various agri-fishery stakeholders like the establishment of farm-gate price ceiling of various commodities using the cost structure analysis were drawn as a result of the one-day Agri-Fishery Stakeholders Industry Forum held at the 5th floor of the Department of Agriculture’s Conference Room on May 17, 2022.

An activity initiated by the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), the forum was attended by around 75 individuals from the various groups like farmer leaders of the five major banner commodities in the region including the poultry and livestock raisers and fishery owners and traders as well as the members of the DA’s attached agencies.

In his message during the Opening program, DA-RFO I’s Regional Executive Director Nestor Domenden called for the establishment of a ‘neutral ground’ for farmers and fisherfolks as the country is currently facing challenges brought by the ongoing pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war which tremendously affect the country’s economic condition.

“With the conduct of this stakeholder’s industry forum, we have to define programs and new ideas to make an impact in our economy leading towards the creation of sovereign industry where we will no longer depend on other countries,” said Domenden.

Part of the recovery programs that the DA intends to do is the pouring of investment into research and development alongside some major initiatives that the government is doing like the provision of subsidies in terms of agri-inputs as well as upgrading of farm machinery and equipment.

In addition, RED Domenden expressed his desire for the regular conduct of a forum like this on a quarterly basis to provide an avenue for exchanging new ideas and innovations to balance the need of the producers to produce more and for the consumers to accept the prices of commodities as it reaches the market.

Providing the participants an in-depth analysis of how prices of commodities are made and why is becoming volatile when it reaches the market, Ms. Mea Baldonado, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources representative together with Ms. Wilhelmina Castañeda, Chief of DA-AMAD in Ilocos presented the cost structure analysis of milkfish, garlic, and onion, respectively.

Ms. Loida Pacursa, OIC-Chief of the Operations Division of DA likewise presented the Agricultural Industry Situationer in Ilocos Region to provide participants with information as to the current status of the agri-fishery industry in the region, some of the challenges as well as opportunities it is currently facing as a basis to come up with possible solutions and interventions to address these challenges.

– RAFIS Ilocos Region FB Page