DAP to conduct Asian food and agribusiness conference

The Development Academy of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Asian Productivity Organization, will conduct a three-day international conference called “Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference: Enhancing Exports of Organic Products” this September 13-15 at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City.

The conference, expected to be attended by participants from the APO’s 14 member countries namely: Cambodia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, and Philippines. The conference aims to provide a platform for leaders of the organic agrifood sector to discuss emerging trends as well as issues and challenges affecting the productivity and sustainability of Asian organic agrifood small- and medium-scale enterprises.

The conference will be graced by the country’s key movers in the development of the agriculture sector from both legislative branches of government led by Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food; Congressman Jose T. Panganiban Jr., Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food of the House of Representatives; and, Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing and Regional Engagement of the Department of Agriculture, as the lead agency for the promotion of organic agriculture in the country.

It also seeks to bring together key stakeholders in the said sector, share successful models of SMEs in organic farming and marketing and exporting organic products as well as enhance understanding of export opportunities for agribusiness and food industry SMEs while strengthening them for promoting inclusive growth in their countries.

International cast

Scheduled to serve as resource persons in the conference is an international cast that includes Mr. Andre Leu, President of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) – Australia; Harrace Hok Chung Lau, Director of Asia Pacific eOneNet Limited of Hong Kong; Ms. Chayaa Nanjappa, founder of the Nectar Fresh, Pure Honey and Food Products of Karnataka, India; Sakoto Miyoshi, representative of Global Organic Textile Standard of Japan; Dr. Zhou Zejiang, senior adviser to the Organic Food Development Center under the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China; Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, program officer of the APO. Equally competent resource speakers from the Philippines include Mr. Patrick B. Belisario, Chairperson of the Organic Producer Trade Association and Vice-President of the IFOAM-Asia; Ms. Cherrie De Erit Atilano, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AGREA Philippines; and others who will share good practices in farming, marketing and promotions of agrifood products.

Representatives from national and local government offices, members of the academe, state universities and colleges, and employees of agribusinesses and other agricultural enterprises are expected to join the conference.

Conference topics

Among the topics to be discussed during the first two days, which will be capped on the third day by the participants’ visit to an SME site, are emerging global and regional trends, opportunities and challenges in organic agriculture and the food industry; key regulations governing the entry of organic food products in major markets such as the US, Japan and Europe; development of business intelligence, certification system, and other support programs for organic exporters; digital technology for developing smart organic product value chains; and successful models of organic agribusiness and food industry SMEs.

Interested parties may check facebook.com/dap.edu.ph, or e-mail the organizers at flaminianoj@dap.edu.ph and eparwac@dap.edu.ph, or call (+632) 631-21-37.

President Aquino inked Law on Farm Tourism

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Photo: Philippine Star

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III recently signed RA No. 10816 also known as the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016. The RA 10816 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3002 and House Bill No. 5299, which the Senate and House approved on February 2016.

The law defines farm tourism (also called agritourism or agrotourism) as ““the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational and recreational purposes.” The said bill seeks to improve the income and economic viability of small farmers and rural communities, where poverty rates are highest.

Under the said bill, the Farm Tourism Development Board (which shall be attached to the Department of Tourism (DoT) shall be headed by the Tourism Secretary as Chairperson and the Agriculture Secretary as Vice Chair. While members of the Board are composed by the Trade Secretary, President of Educational Institution providing farm tourism programs, President of a National Farm Tourism Organization, President of national inbound tour operators association,  President of national federation of farmers cooperatives.

Related: 4th Farm Tourism Conference

The Farm Tourism Development Board shall formulate plans and programs for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the Philippines and shall set the overall direction in the implementation of the Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan, which is integrated with the National Tourism Development Plan.

The Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan shall include: investment promotion and financing, market research, trends, innovations, and information, accreditation of farm tourism camps, institution and human resource development, infrastructure development.

Accreditation of farm tourism areas shall be on a voluntary basis and will be valid for two years. Said accreditation may be suspended or revoked should there be any violation of the set standards.

Among the law makers who supported the passing of this Bill are Congresswoman Sharon S. Garin of AAMBIS-OWA Partylist and Senator Cynthia Villar, Chair on Agriculture and Food.

Source: Manila Bulletin; Business World