Agri trade expo to focus on marketing to help MSMEs

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – Organizers of the three-day 18th Davao Agri Trade Expo (DATE), the biggest gathering of businessmen in Mindanao slated on September 22-24 at the SMX Convention Center here, will highlight the marketing side of the business which is seen to be crucial in the success of any budding micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Sofronio M. Jucutan, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) executive vice president, told “Wednesdays Habi at Kape” at the Abreeza of the Ayala Mall that this is the first time they will be giving marketing the biggest importance unlike the previous expositions that were centered on production.

He said they will teach the MSMEs on how they can take advantage of the attention Mindanao is getting after the election of the first Mindanawon president, outgoing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, who will be sworn on Thursday

Jucutan said they will also stage the first-ever Agri-Marketing Conference that will help the farmers find new buyers locally and abroad.

“This is a bit different from the past trade expos that talked about how to produce and grow the crops. This time, we will feature how to market. The election of the mayor as president opens a lot of opportunities. We have a lot of visitors in Davao tasting our products. This is the opportunity for us to find new markets and add value to the products that we produce,” he said.

Industry experts and representatives from banking institutions will join the conference that is set on the third day of the expo.

“The three-day DATE will have plenary sessions to talk about financing, invite officers of banks to explain policies on lending. There will be experts who will help players in processing and marketing, which is key in any kind of production. They will learn how to tap the export market, how to find a market abroad whether you do it yourself or tie up with a big brother. There’s a lot of opportunities that every interested parties will benefit from the trade expo,” Jucutan said.

This year’s trade expo will highlight “Mindanao’s golden crops” such as cacao, coffee, coconut, cassava, corn, and rice.

Jucutan said they are expecting around 10,000 visitors.

He added they are hoping to surpass the P83.777 million in exhibitors’ sales in 2013, the period where the same crops were highlighted.

Last year, some P342.833 million in sales were generated by exhibitors in livestock, poultry, gamefowl, and aquaculture industry.