THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and delegates from 14 fellow member countries of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) will be pitching for value chain financing strategy.
The five-day regional agribusiness forum, set on October 9 – 13, seeks to extend assistance to vulnerable but highly potent rural enterprises of small farmers and fisherfolks and turning them into vibrant ones.
Gracing the five-day activity to be held at the Hotel Jen Manila along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City are Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, Agriculture Secretary Manuel Piñol and Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano, each of them will deliver inspiration messages relative to food security and rural development.
DAR Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong said the forum intends “to project agricultural value chain as a meaningful tool for inclusive growth.”
Dubbed: “Strengthening Regional Convergence for Rural Development: Promoting Smart Agribusiness for Inclusive Growth,” Bistoyong said the forum serves as a venue for developing a platform for knowledge sharing on wide and diverse experiences of CIRDAP-member countries in agricultural value chains and in agri-enterprise development.
“The idea is to help small farmers and fisherfolk increase their economic activities, uplift their standards of living and spurring rural development, This can be done by figuring out the roles of small farmers and fisherfolk and convincing the so-called ‘Captains of the Industry’ to make a pitch for it,” Bistoyong said.
Agricultural value chain is designed to rally and organize small farmers and fisherfolk into cohesive groups, with the end in view of enhancing the capacity of each group to meet the demand of their target markets: quality and quantity of their harvests, and add value to their products in exchange for fair market value.
Bistoyong said the organized small farmers and fisherfolk would be given crash courses on improving their business acumen, that is, the ability of dealing with food manufacturers and/or processors.
“We see this as a major step in eliminating the so-called ‘middlemen,’ who end up raking in more profits at the expense of the small farmers and fisherfolk by buying their harvests at low prices and selling them at higher prices,” she added.