LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Jan. 31 (PIA) -- Farmers and fisherfolks can promote their produce, increase their income and be developed as entrepreneurs through the Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Expositions (ASPIRE) .
Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Bernadette Puyat launched last January 24 the ASPIRE in the Cordillera region.
This enterprise development initiative is a partnership among the DA, Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It is a strategy to consolidate and harmonize their efforts to improve and develop the agriculture and fishery sector.
Puyat stressed the important role of the agriculture sector and its impact to the economy as it aids in expanding existing business and employment opportunities.
Even if the Philippine Statistics Authority records low contribution of agriculture sector to the Gross Domestic Product as shown in the third quarter data of 9.2 percent, when raw materials are processed in the manufacturing sector there is value addition, hence, contributes higher to the economy, explained Puyat.
She emphasized that agribusiness and marketing will take a bigger role now and will not only focus on product promotion but would also work in enhancing logistics and enterprise development.
Jerry Damoyan, chief of Cordillera Region’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) whose division coordinates the agency ASPIRE program, said the rationale behind the program is to integrate all DA programs through investment promotions, opportunities for market needs and enterprise development to increase income for farmers and producers.
He said the seeming disconnect among producers and consumers or buyers in the past will now be put in order.
Puyat encouraged partners especially the private sector to further explore opportunities in the sector to help increase productivity and availability of food for the people. Susan C. Aro (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)