4 Nov 2013
Food manufacturers are pushing for more investments in the agriculture sector to enable them to meet rising local demand and increase exports by 10 percent next year, according to the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport).
Roberto Amores, president of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc. (Philfoodex), was quoted as saying that the country had high-value goods like mango products and fresh bananas that are in demand abroad, while China has announced a program to buy $150 billion worth of food in the next five years.
Local demand for agricultural products is also growing, driven by the influx of tourists.
“The consumption patterns of food services and hotels and the changing habits of the domestic consumers have expanded the demand for agricultural products. So we need to continue producing raw materials in order to address this demand,” he said in a statement issued by Philexport.
According to Amores, the government and the private sector will need to ramp up investments in agriculture, specifically in storage, equipment and increased awareness of global agriculture practices, to improve productivity and help drive growth in the sector.
Amores, the food trustee of Philexport, also noted that the adoption of sustainable agriculture methods can enhance the sector’s competitiveness and productivity.
It was likewise crucial for the government to fast-track the establishment of common service facilities such as mobile repacking and agriculture laboratory facilities.
Also recommended was the establishment of agriculture productive cluster zones where raw materials can be produced. Courtesy Philippine Daily Inquirer
By Amy R. Remo