DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Oct) – A total of P341.833 million in exhibitors’ sales were recorded during the three-day 17th Davao Agri Trade Expo (DATE) that highlighted the livestock, poultry, game fowl, and aquaculture industries from Sept. 15 to 17 at the SMX Convention Center Davao.
The event, touted as the biggest agribusiness event in Mindanao, gathered 132 exhibitors and 8,665 local visitors, occupying the 7,835-square meter convention center, with generated revenues surpassing the expected P300 million target.
This was the biggest sales generated from contract and direct sales noted in three years since the holding of the 14th DATE in 2012 with P243.439 million in sales, which also highlighted the same industries, with 75 exhibitors and 7,149 visitors.
Speaking during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) vice president for agriculture Wilfredo Teves attributed the increase to the efforts of the participants to modernize their products in preparation for the Asean Economic Community (AEC), designed to make the economic region as a single production area of goods and services, which will take effect by end of this year.
The executive pointed out that only a few players have realized the opportunities offered by the economic integration, which is done through an easier exchange of goods to Asean neighbors at zero tariff rates.
He urged the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore and seize the opportunities that await them in the international arena, most especially those who are into hogs and poultry raising because Mindanao can still take advantage of being free from bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease, two of the illnesses plaguing some of the Asean neighbors.
Teves added that they are coming up with a focused group discussion (FGDs) among the industry’s prime movers, officials from Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to increase the efficiency of the local producers and improve the quality of the products that are bound for export.
“This endeavor can be done with their support,” he said,
Next year’s DATE will highlight the agro-crops, most especially the banana, pineapple, cacao, and corn.