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Bicol Agriculture Summit Aims to Strengthen Market Linkages for Farmers and Fisherfolk

Naga City, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture in Bicol (DA-5) is set to host a summit from December 1 to 3, gathering 250 leaders of farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) from across the region. The summit aims to establish stronger market connections for farmers and fisherfolk. DA-5 spokesperson Lovella Guarin, in an interview on Wednesday, shared that the summit will include farmers engaged in a variety of commodities such as rice, corn, vegetables, pili, pineapple, cacao, coconut, and livestock and poultry.

According to Philippines News Agency, the summit, held in Naga City, is part of the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) Program. It is a collaborative effort involving the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI-RTC 5) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Camarines Sur. The program will include provincial and municipal agriculturists and commodity coordinators. The DA views farm clustering and consolidation as a crucial strategy to advance the agriculture sector, with clustered and consolidated farmers being prioritized for various DA interventions.

Guarin noted that these interventions include the distribution of farm inputs, tools, equipment, machinery, installation of irrigation facilities, and the establishment of post-harvest and processing facilities. The DA is also engaging in discussions with various government agencies and the private sector to enhance support and interventions for these groups.

DA-Bicol records indicate the presence of 25 rice clustered farms, 61 corn and cassava clustered farms, 31 high-value crops clusters, and 11 livestock-clustered farms in the region. The summit will offer training on digital marketing, market matching, investment opportunities, product demand, and quality standards, presented by key market players and institutional buyers.

Additionally, the summit will feature a display and sale of various agricultural products by 24 FCA exhibitors invited by the DA. The DTI-Camarines Sur has extended invitations to 11 exhibitors from FCAs, one from the academic sector, and 29 entrepreneurs for the event. This gathering is a significant step in strengthening the agricultural sector in Bicol by enhancing market linkages and providing essential training and resources to farmers and fisherfolk.