DOST-Negros Oriental Director Atty. Gilbert Arbon discussing market opportunities in food processing for agribusiness sector during the 2nd day of the Agribusiness Techno-Trade Fair and Investment Forum held Oct. 4, 2017 at St. Paul University, Dumaguete City. (Roi Lomotan/PIA7-Negros Oriental)
DUMAGUETE CITY, Oct. 5 (PIA) -- Market opportunities in the food processing industry and tourism for agribusiness ventures were among the highlights during yesterday's Agribusiness Techno-Trade Fair and Investment Forum at St. Paul University Dumaguete (SPUD).
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Negros Oriental Provincial Director Atty. Gilbert Arbon said that farmers used to think that their products only end up in the public market.
However, there are some market segments which they can tap to expand their market reach and one of these is the food processing sector, he said.
Arbon disclosed that DOST has been assisting many firms in the food processing sector under its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP).
Farmers and other agribusiness entrepreneurs can supply the required commodity of agricultural products for these firms.
"If you really investigate, naa pa jud diay posible na ma-suplay(an) ang atong mga farmers or those who want to go into agribusiness. In view of supplying our local or domestic market. (If you really investigate, our farmers or those who want to go into agribusiness can give them supply)," Arbon said.
"There are opportunities. That's why I think the DA (Department of Agriculture) and the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) would do well if they explore further matching of our producers with our processors," he added.
Meanwhile, Negros Oriental Hotels, Resorts and Restaurant Association (NOHRRA) Inc. President Jose Ramon Del Prado also shared some of the market opportunities for agribusiness in tourism industry.
Del Prado said that one common thing that tourists do after a day of visiting premier tourist attractions is to eat, and culinary tourism is now considered as a vital component of the tourism experience.
"What does this mean for us? Restaurants, malls and accommodation facilities grow in Dumaguete. Everywhere you go, there is a new hotel or restaurant and as market matures, more locals are dining out more often. Diners are more discerning with the quality and the variety of the food they eat," Del Prado said.
To strengthen the local agribusiness sector's capability to meet these demands, Del Prado suggested interventions which the DOST can provide assistance, such as ensuring production of quality products, attaining self-sufficiency, improve production technology, assistance in market linkages by establishing a centralized buying centers for agri-produce, improve the market infrastructure, and assistance in setting up support industries to better serve the community and tourism industry.
The Agribusiness Techno-Trade and Investment Forum Fair was organized by DOST together with DA-Negros Oriental and was held last held on October 3 and 4.
It featured exhibits of agricultural products from the four big universities in the city namely Silliman University, St. Paul University Dumaguete, Foundation University, and Negros Oriental State University.
A total of 108 individuals from various sectors such as the academe, tourism, business investors, food processors, and agribusiness attended the event.
Aside from market opportunities, the two-day event also tackled financing programs for agribusiness entrepreneurs provided by the DA, Development Bank of the Philippines, MetroBank and the Cooperative Bank of Negros Oriental and other topics on starting and growing agri-business enterprises.