Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sustainable Markets for Philippine Farm

      In line with the government's long-term goal to ensure food security and raise farmers' income in the countryside, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is calling on food manufacturers to help build ready and sustainable markets for the country's farm and fishery produce.

      This will be through contract growing and other marketing arrangements with small producers.

       According to DA, this will make agriculture a more profitable investment for its small producers, as the department has been stepping up its efforts to bring farm produce directly to urban markets for better prices and identifying the appropriate hardware and infrastructure investments needed to modernize crop production.

      One key component of this initiative is the establishment of barangay bagsakan (village drop-off centers) and bagsakan centers around Metro Manila and in the regions.

      In Bohol, DA is set to put up bagsakan centers in the municipalities of Anda, Balilihan, Loboc, Corella and Sevilla

      Besides increasing production, small farmers and fisherfolk should also be provided assistance in opening markets for their produce and facilities to cut back their post-harvest losses.

      Under this concept, market-matching with buyers are being done for groups of crop growers or fisherfolk who are known for or are experts at producing specific commodities.

      The DA, through Secretary Arthur Yap, has always advocated the new thinking that agriculture is also a business endeavor. (DA/tots) 

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