Agri office prepares for East Asia market-A A +A
Friday, July 13, 2012
FILIPINO farmers must be ready for a 600-million East Asia market that has a very hungry appetite and change of eating habits.
Executive Director Rolando T. Dy said China will lead this demand for more food, along with Japan and South Korea, Center for Food and Agribusiness, and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P).
“In 2040, the global food and agriculture market will be heavily shaped by Chinese preferences, needs, and developments,” he said in a meeting for policy makers held in Siargao, Surigao del Norte.
The forum was convened by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca).
It is part of the DA Umbrella Capacity Development Program managed by Searca in partnership with the UA&P, Ateneo de Manila University School of Government, and the University of the Philippines Economics Foundation.
The DA and Searca organized the forum recognizing the need for policy makers to face the challenges of competitive global agribusiness.
“The world is rapidly changing,” said Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., Searca director. “Rising incomes, growing middle class, urbanization, volatile food and commodity prices, as well as climate change are driving market dynamics.”
“Top decision-makers at the DA ought to continually keep abreast of these developments,” he said earlier in Los Banos. “This is vital to reshaping the country’s agribusiness future, bringing farm incomes to higher levels, and expanding rural markets by reducing rural poverty.”
“Providing a situation on the global market environment will enable DA executives identify opportunities and challenges facing Philippine agriculture, agribusiness in key markets and competitor countries,” said Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz, manager of the Searca Knowledge Management
“In the process, they will be more equipped to devise competitive analytics, strategies, and innovative solutions for the country’s agribusiness programs to help develop well-grounded decision-makers,” Cadiz said.
As China streamlines its food and agriculture system, its influence will be far-reaching, said Dy, pointing out that China “will shape and redefine” global agribusiness, biotechnology, food processing, logistics, and trade.
It will be an enormous opportunity for Filipino farmers, he said.
“East Asian markets will belong to suppliers, whose customers trust them because of the safety, quality, and identity of their food.” Dy added.
Citing the Food East Asia 2040 report released this year by the US Grains Council, Dy said the United States, Japan, and other countries will have counterbalancing opportunities in the face of this rising Chinese power.
Japan's trading environment, he said, will increasingly be shaped by China. Japan itself offers an opportunity for farmers in Southeast Asia.
For example, more than 70 percent of food in Japan may be prepared outside the home by 2040. Its “entire food system, from farm to fork, will be impacted by the shift away from home cooking,” he said.
Dy said those successful food industry players anticipate and adapt to a market characterized by intensified competition; a shift away from ingredients towards brands, retailers and restaurants; far greater diversity of consumer tastes; and continuous technical innovation.
East Asia will be a leading global player in science-based functional foods, he said, adding that “east Asia's future elderly, raised more Western-minded than previous generations, will be a key market for these enhanced foods.”
So-called “traditional high-tech” diets will spread from East Asia to the rest of the globe.
“Commodity growers can support these diets by growing crops that provide specific health benefits,” Dy said. “Restaurants, food service chains, convenience retailers, and other outlets ‘will become the consumers' primary interface with the food system.”
“Radical new technologies to produce, protect, preserve, test, deliver, and prepare food will proliferate. Competition to serve highly differentiated markets will be fierce.” (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 14, 2012.