Meaningful partnerships are at the heart of transforming Philippine agriculture for the better. Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban highlighted the role of the private sector in creating a lively and robust agri-fishery environment during a business conference attended by more than 100 representatives from the government, business and financing sectors.
“The DA’s past and existing partnerships with the private sector have all been very fruitful. From transforming Philippine agriculture into a modern and climate-resilient sector to increasing agri-fishery production, strengthening the supply chain, raising the incomes of farmers and fisherfolk, and contributing to food security, they all have left an indelible mark on the whole agricultural landscape,” Sr. Usec. Panganiban said.
The Business Conference (BizCon) was organized by the DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in partnership with the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (PPSA) to showcase the PRDP Scale-Up and the different investment components where the private sector can potentially get involved.
The PRDP Scale-Up is an expanded response of the DA to boost commodity value chain development for greater connectivity, mobility, accessibility, availability, and affordability of food in the market. Farmers’ and fishers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), clusters of FCAs, producers associations, federations, processors, consolidators, food manufacturers, and players across the value chain are expected to benefit from this project.
“The DA-PRDP, from its original loan and additional financing, is now gearing towards the longer-term outcomes of securing the country’s food availability and creating an agri-fishery development environment attractive to private sector investment and innovation,” DA Assistant Secretary for Operations and PRDP National Project Director Engr. Arnel V. de Mesa said.
The project will be implemented in 82 provinces from 2024 to 2029 with the local government units as primary implementing partners of infrastructure and enterprise development subprojects. PRDP National Deputy Director Shandy M. Hubilla explained that the PRDP SCALE-UP will host several venues where the private sector can be engaged in the project.
This includes stakeholder engagement and participation of the private sector during the planning stage to share their insights and inputs as experts in their respective industries; as co-investors in leveraging additional resources to expand investments in the value chain; providing capacity building and skills training for FCAs; and as institutional buyers to provide market access to farmers and fishers. Hubilla also presented samples of investment areas for the private sector in commodities like coconut, cacao, livestock, and dairy.
Meanwhile, DA Undersecretary for Finance and National Project Coordination Office I-PLAN Component Head Agnes Catherine T. Miranda encouraged the private sector to collaborate with PRDP.
“This conference is just the beginning of forging a partnership with you and we look forward to your unwavering dedication as we embark on succeeding events from stakeholders’ consultations, conferences, convergence activities, and investment fora at the national and regional levels that will further solidify our collaboration,” Usec. Miranda said.
The BizCon also featured an open forum moderated by PPSA Country Director and Grow Asia Head of Partnerships Amy Melissa Chua. The open forum gathered the private sector’s feedback and insights on the critical issues and concerns of the commodity industry, the challenges in the markets, and inquiries on how to start engaging with the DA-PRDP.
For more information about the PRDP Scale-Up contact email@example.com.