More than 500 stakeholders involved in agribusiness will be discussing issues affecting the sector at the 10th Sulong Pilipinas this week at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City, in a move to call government action for reforms in the farm sector.
The Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will host this large delegation of public and private/business sector stakeholders for the Sulong Pilipinas 2019 Agribusiness Summit on Dec. 17.
DA Secretary William Dar said the country’s public and private stakeholders will continue to work together in “transforming traditional agri-fishery farms into inclusive, resilient and globally competitive agribusiness enterprises.”
For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the holding of the Sulong Pilipinas for Agribusiness “is how public-private partnership works. The government side delivers the medium. The private sector delivers the content. It is a productive symbiosis.”
Sulong involves a series of consultative conferences between the Duterte administration and the private sector, which started in June 2016 also in Davao City before then-Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte took over as President.
For the 10th edition of this dialogue, participants from the agribusiness community will discuss a wide range of issues to produce actionable recommendations to help the government focus its efforts on implementing game-changing reforms in the agribusiness sector.
There will be workshops on poultry and livestock; grains (corn and rice); fisheries; coconut; high-value crops (cacao, coffee, rubber, banana, mango and vegetables); infrastructure; and farm consolidation/clustering and agri-tourism.
Recommendations to accelerate the implementation of these actionable programs will then be presented to President Duterte.
In addition to Dar and Dominguez, also invited to the event are other Cabinet members, among them Secretaries Roy Cimatu of Environment and Natural Resources, John Castriciones of Agrarian Reform and Eduardo Año of the Interior and Local Government.
Representatives from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Go Negosyo advocacy group, Makati Business Club (MBC) and Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) have signified their participation in the event.
This collaboration between DA and DOF with private sector stakeholders is expected to make for a more robust agribusiness sector founded on Dar’s eight paradigms of the ‘New Thinking’ for agriculture, which includes modernization and industrialization, among other crucial elements in sectoral transformation.
President Duterte has carried out initiatives to energize the farm sector, including signing Republic Act (RA) No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) that has lowered the retail cost of rice while establishing an annual P10 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which is meant to boost rice productivity by providing farmers with inputs like modern farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds, cheap and easy credit, and skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques.