10,000 visitors eyed in 17th Davao Trade Expo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Aug) – Some 10,000 visitors are expected to join the 17th Davao Trade Expo (DATE) which will champion the livestock industry in the Davao Region, an executive of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) said.

This year’s trade expo, dubbed as “Building Local Products for the Global Community”, will be held at the SMX Convention Center Davao at the SM Lanang Premier on September 25 to 27.

Jonathan Suy, co-chairperson of the 17th DATE, speaking in Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, said 80 percent ofmthe 170 booths are already filled up with exhibitors who will showcase various products and technology in the region.

International delegates will also grace the three-day event, the biggest agribusiness expo in Mindanao.

All booths will be mounted in three separate pavilions.

Organizers are also hoping to surpass the P233 million revenues generated during the 15th DATE in 2013 which also highlighted the livestock industry.

Local players from the dairy industry will also take centerstage to showcase the products and the technology in a bid to encourage more players to venture into fresh milk production.

The Philippines reportedly imports 97 percent of its fresh milk needs from New Zealand and Australia, translating to a whopping P70 billion worth of imports annually.

The country’s production averages only about 3,000 liters a day, way below the daily requirement of 6,000 to 7,000 liters a day.

According to National Dairy Authority (NDA) department manager Marilyn Mabale, the country has 9,000 cows that produce fresh milk, of which 1,300 are in Davao Region.

NDA imported 1,394 cows, a cross between Holstein and Sahiwal, from New Zealand, which will be dispersed to farmers in Mindanao. Last year, Mindanao got some 650 cows while NDA is proposing another 800 cows next year, of which 300 will go to Mindanao.

Hog industry

Major player Cecilia Stock Farms Inc. (CSFI) prides itself as one of the innovative players in the country’s hog industry, what with the existing partnership it has with Pig Improvement Company (PIC) for more than 14 years which advanced its best practices that are at par with other countries where the genetic company has presence.

The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom with laboratory in Kentucky in the United States. It maintains firm footing across Asia Pacific and Europe.

CSFI chief-executive-officer and farm administrator Teresita M. Pascual said local industry players must take pride in being free from food and mouth disease (FMD) and bird flu, illnesses that have been affecting their Southeast Asian neighbors.

She said hog and poultry raisers must take advantage of this to advance in the global export market.

Previously, she lambasted the policies of the government that hamper the growth of the industry. One such policy is the 50-year-old Cabotage law, which caused the high cost of local shipping fees by allowing only the domestic shipping lines to serve local shipping routes.

President Benigno Aquino III recently signed Republic Act 10667, or the Philippine Competition Act, and RA 10668, or the Foreign Co-Loading Act, which amended the Cabotage Law.

The Philippine Competition Act provides “for a national competition policy prohibiting anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Co-Loading Act allows “foreign vessels to transport and co-load foreign cargoes for domestic transshipment.”