Francisco Ramos, director of the Agriculture department’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, said this during the first ever agriculture and aquaculture trade fair in the region held in this premier port city.
Ramos was impressed by the deboned bangus products of the Alcantara family and the processed organic fruit products of Kablon Farms.
“What the foreign market needs are natural products, and these are easily met by the aforementioned companies,” he said.
More than a dozen small producers and processors of agriculture and aquaculture products trooped to this city on Thursday in a bid to link up with domestic and foreign buyers.
The trade fair sponsored by the Department of Agriculture in Central Mindanao attracted participants from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Caraga, Region XI or the Davao Region and Central Mindanao.
Abusama Alid, agriculture regional director, said they staged the trade fair in a bid to promote the region’s products to the other parts of the country with the hope to later penetrate the foreign market.
“Essentially, we’d like to link the producers to buyers from other regions for their business to further grow,” Alid told reporters in a luncheon press conference following the formal opening rites at the KCC Mall here.
Ramos said that by holding the trade fair, his agency can help determine what products can be promoted in the markets of Manila, Cebu and Davao, and eventually abroad.
Sani Macabalang, regional director of theBureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said that increasing farm and fishery production alone “is not enough to ensure bigger income for farmers and fishers.”
“We need to help them sell their products at a profit. This trade fair is one avenue of helping them reach wider markets,” he stressed.
Among those who participated in the trade fair were food processors engaged in the production of fresh and dried fish, cashew and banana chips, handicraft makers and others.
Alid said that market linkage is crucial for small producers to increase their chances of expansion, thus providing more jobs to the people. He added his office is working to institutionalize the holding of the agri-aqua trade fair annually to give farm and fishery producers the window for more opportunities.