DTI urges CARAGA farmers to move up the value chain
The Department of Trade and Industry said higher incomes await for micro and small CARAGA farmers under the liberalized ASEAN market if they go into the production of high value products.
DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba said during a recent regional conference on “Industry Roadmaps and the AEC Gameplan: Roadmaps Localization for Competitiveness” in Butuan City that farmers in Region 13 can compete against their competitors in the region by producing more high value rubber, palm oil and processed marine products.
There were 250 participants from Region 13 (CARAGA Region) at the conference, which discussed the economic opportunities and potential for micro producers in the region. The regional conference aims to build the capacities of local industries and stakeholders including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in crafting their own industry roadmaps aligned with the national industry roadmaps. The conference also aims to discuss the economic opportunities and potentials for local industries and sectors in the Caraga region and how they can take advantage of the many opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The localization of roadmaps in CARAGA Region focuses on rubber, palm oil, and processed fish—the dominantly thriving and potential industries in the region which can be aligned and linked with national industry roadmaps.
“We need to upgrade our industries and take advantage of the opportunities arising from the country’s free trade agreements. Our industrial policy focuses on our participation in global value chains as well as in pursuing a cluster-based development to build stronger regional economies,” Aldaba said during the conference. She said that agribusiness is a catalyst that will drive regional economic transformation.
“We want to transform and upgrade agriculture from traditional farming to a globally competitive agribusiness sector and position the Philippines as an agribusiness hub in ASEAN,” Aldaba said stressing that the Philippines is well positioned in the ASEAN region to take advantage of opportunities of economic integration.