Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) products like heirloom rice, coffee and highland vegetable topped the initial areas to be covered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) under its Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Exposition (ASPIRE) project.
ASPIRE is a DA initiative in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc. (PCCI).
DA Undersecretary for Administration, Agribusiness and Marketing and Regional Engagement Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday said that ASPIRE project was focused on improving the quality of the production and supply of locally produced agricultural products in the country.
Puyat led other government officials in launching the ASPIRE program in the Cordillera region held at the Benguet Capitol here. The project was piloted in 2017 in Regions 3, 5 and 12.
“Actually, part of the ASPIRE project, is looking for outlets where farmers can sell in Metro Manila and all around the country.’
Included in their intervention under the project is logistical support to the farmers and enterprise development to ensure its sustainability.
Puyat said that under ASPIRE, the agriculture department had initially tied up with Ayala malls which allowed local farmers to sell their products inside free of charge, in support of the Karne, Isda Supply Suporta sa Masa at Ekonomiya (KISS ME) program.
The program is in line with DA Secretary Emmanuel Pinol’s pronouncement of making food available and affordable to the public which is the mandate of the department.
Providing details of the logistical support, Puyat said government intended to give delivery trucks to ‘poor’ farmers as a form of assistance to allow them to transport their products to the market.
Director Christopher Morales, in-charge of Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Services (AMAS) of the DA, added that farmers would be provided financial assistance, which was an important part of enterprise development.
Earlier, Carolyn Castro, chief of the Market Development Division of AMAS also pointed out that ASPIRE aimed to integrate market development support services to farmers, fisherfolk, small and medium and private enterprise and other stakeholders.
Castro also outlined the objectives – promotion and advocacy of investment opportunities to encourage business investments; build strong partnership and convergence with other government and private sector and industry sector.
The program has four components namely production support, enterprise development and marketing support, agribusiness and promotion, and market promotion and development.
The launching which coincided with a three-day forum on agri-tourism, entrepreneurial mind-setting and trademark was also attended by Governor Cresencio Pacalso and other provincial officials.
Several members of various farmers, fisherfolk cooperatives and small enterprises (SMEs) including other stakeholders from the Cordilleras and nearby provinces of the north are attending the forum.
(c) 2018 2017 Philippines News Agency Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).