FoodCon to address challenges in the 2015 Asean integration

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Friday, July 11, 2014


FOOD security and other related issues essential to the growth of the country as it prepares for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) integration next year were the highlights during the media launch of the upcoming Mindanao Food Congress in September 25-26, 2014 at the Lim Ket Kai Luxe Hotel held on Tuesday.

This year’s congress theme is “Aligning Mindanao Food Security in the Asean Market.”

Heads of various economic and commodity sectors in the region engaged in a discussion with the press.

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Heading the conference was Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Oro Chamber) president Efren Uy, Mindanao Food Congress chairman Ruben Vegafria, with experts from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industries in Northern Mindanao (CAFFI NorMin).

“To survive and to prosper the Asean integration, we need food security,” DA assistant regional director for region 10 Roxane Hojas said.
The essential elements of this are the 4 As, which according to Hojas, are Availability, Affordability, Accessibility at All times.
In order to have food security in the surge of the Asean market, the 4 As are to be balanced, she added.

Experts of region 10 confidently said Mindanao has all the facilities needed to be ready for the integration when it comes to food security. “However, we need to double time in improving them,” Hojas said.

Ongoing projects regarding the construction of farm-to-market roads, prices of staple food and Mindanao being abundant with agricultural products were mentioned in the gathering.

“The key is in determining what we have and what we can sell more in the globalization. This will be discussed lengthily in the congress,” said Linda Boniao, acting regional director of DTI region 10.

Sessions on poultry-raising, growing coffee, banana, cacao and high value crops, and vegetable production will be held during the two-day event.
Oro Chamber trustee Rodolfo Menes said the congress will be a ground for discussing policy issues in preparing Mindanao for the challenges in the One ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The Oro Best Expo 2014 which will also happen on September 25-27, 2014 at the Lim Ket Kai Atrium is a trade fair to complement the congress.

The Expo’s objectives are to showcase the advantages and opportunities in Mindanao and encourage local, national and foreign investments.
The congress and the expo aim to prepare stakeholders in the full integration of Asean in January 2015.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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