Keeping true to its commitment of enhancing profit and income of small farmers through the provision of wider linkages to various agribusiness stakeholders in the Ilocos Region, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I (DA-RFO I) through the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) conducted a one-day industry forum cum market matching activity at the Ariana Resort in Bauang, La Union on October 28, 2021.

Utilizing the blended form of meeting with face to face and virtual participation, the industry forum paved way for 70 individual from various sectors to include DA’s LGU-partners, farmer leaders and cooperatives as well as producers as participants.

Seven institutional buyers, two consolidators, two traders and two processors were among the invited resource speakers who shared their companies’/institutions’ process of procurement and product requirements for the information of the participants.

Among these institutional buyers include the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Nutridense Corporation, Dizon Farms, VIEVA Inc., Ridad Fruits and Vegetables, among others; who have discussed their market requirements in terms of type of commodities and products they need, its specifications, volume requirement.

In his message during the forum via virtual, Regional Executive Director of DA-RFO I, Nestor Domenden underscored the timeliness of the conduct of the activity as it opens larger opportunities for potential collaboration and partnership for all the key industry players in the agri-fishery sectors.

Seeing the potential of adopting value-adding activities, promotion and advocacy of quality products and food safety standards and all other doable marketing strategies, without overlooking the strengthened partnership for both the public and private sectors along the value chain process, Director Domenden is optimistic that farmers and all other key industry players shall greatly benefit from this.

Meanwhile, to provide the participants information on possible commodities for export, Ms. Joyce Bengo, the OIC-Market Development Division of AMAS discussed in details the potential commodities for export which the Ilocos Region could possibly enter into. Among the potential export commodities that the region may possibly supply according to Ms. Bengo include peanut, okra, chilli pepper, ube, mango, etc.

As a result of the industry forum, the DA-RFO I through AMAD proposed for an agency-to-agency transactions with the DSWD and other institutional buyers to provide more access of marketing the produce of farmers’ associations in the region.

Ms. Edilyn Goldara, Chief of the Industry Support Section of AMAD assured that activities such as this shall be regularly conducted in collaboration with the High Value Crops Development Program in the region to firm up the production and marketing strategies of the region especially of those identified commodities with potential markets, thereby providing farmers wider market outlets for their produce.

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