The Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) will promote increase in livelihood income, lower costs, and create more employment opportunities for small farmers and fishermen by further improving the access of their products and services with domestic and export markets.
PCCI president George T. Barcelon said that the DA-DTI-PCCI collaboration under a memorandum of agreement was formalized last week (June 14) would harmonize their market-accessing activities under the DA Agribusiness Support for the Promotion and Investment in Regional Expo (Aspire) project.
The MOA signatories were Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and Barcelon. Witnesses were DA Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin, DTI Director Senen Perlada, and PCCI Director Roberto Amores.
Under the Aspire project, DA-DTI-PCCI would harmonize activities such as informing small farmers about the demand, standards and delivery preferences that attract buyers, sharing market knowledge, organizing for trade fairs, attending seminars to learn negotiations skills, and preparing them for business matching and investment forums.
Implementation targets call for each the country’s regions to make at least one marketing agreement for three priority commodities, enrolment of 75 per cent of Aspire farmer participants in the RIPPLES PLUS program of DTI per year, and at least two marketing agreements renewed or expanded.
RIPPLES PLUS (Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters) is DTI’s initiative for MSMEs and large corporations that provides training and capacity-building, investment, marketing and promotion, support innovation and product development.
Four regions will be piloting Aspire this 2017: regions 3, 5, 6 and 12. Full implementation will be in 2018.
PCCI would inform local chambers, small and large buyers about the Aspire marketing opportunities during the PCCI area business conferences this year in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
Under the MOA, PCCI regional and local officers will also serve as co-chairs and members of regional technical working committees with DTI and DA.
According to PCCI president Barcelon, collective action with the small-scale farmers would result in lowering production and transaction costs and in true market prices.
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