OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families were encouraged to explore agri-business investments in Western Visayas to help not only themselves but also create employment for others.
Peter Sobrevega, Department of Agriculture (DA)-Western Visayas rechnical director for research, said on December 12 that there are a lot of agri-business investments in the region with the available commodities in Iloilo like coffee, cacao, flowers, fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products.
“We have a lot of farm products and commodities that our OFWs could invest from production, processing, value adding up to marketing of these products,” he said.
Sobrevega said that a number of OFWs have savings that they could use to invest particularly in food production. There are also some OFW families who could engage in agri-business out of the remittances they receive.
“This would really help our economy because this would create employment opportunities to our fellows, at the same time improve our food production and we could have quality products out of their agri-business venture,” he said.
Sobrevega said there are already some returning OFWs and their families in the region that have organized themselves into groups for the production of mushroom.
Some of these groups have already availed themselves of the training conducted by DA-Western Visayas to make their mushroom production an industry in the region as it is in high demand.
He said they are willing to further assist more OFWs in the region, particularly in creating their project proposals, to ensure that their investments are sustainable and profitable.
A forum for OFWs and their families is ongoing in Iloilo City.
Spearheaded by the DA-Western Visayas, in partnership with other government agencies like the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the National Economic and Development Authority, the three-day forum, which will end on December 13, gathered around 175 participants composed of OFWs and their families from the region. (PNA)