DAVAO Region has always had the agriculture industry as its strength.

The same goes for Mindanao. The annual hosting of World Food Expo Mindanao should remind us of this as well as remind us on the importance of the food that we produce.

There is none more fertile than Mindanao. In Luzon, they just have the Northern Luzon areas as the remaining food baskets. The southern part can hardly produce enough because of constant weather disturbances. No amount of industrialization can ever compare to the importance of food production.

This is the very reason too why there is big interest in Mindanao, specifically Davao, among the food processors and producers. In fact, many companies have already settled in, seeing how promising Mindanao is, especially when it comes to agriculture and allied products.

In yesterday's news, a marketing and distribution company of equipment and machineries for food processing, packaging, among many other industries, have already settled in Davao after seeing the prospects after joining Wofex earlier on.

Handyware Philippines Inc. area manager for Mindanao Edward H. Tomboc said they have seen a big market opportunity for their products here and thus they set up operations to be closer to the market. Handyware is just one of many.

In a world that is fast growing in population, the most important industry is agriculture and food. Mindanao and its leaders should recognize this and start looking into sustainable practices to ensure the continuous growth and better markets that will last us not just our lifetime but our children's children lifetimes and to more generations down the line.

It is unthinkable in fact that many still live in the industrial age where the land is nothing but a surface to dig up and build in, and not a fertile earth that can grow and sustain life, when even the United Nations has already stepped up programs for sustainable growth.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently partnered with Italy's

FAO is joining forces with three of Italy's main research institutions in the fields of food, environment and technology to help developing countries build stronger agricultural sectors through better research and information.

The new partnership will focus on advanced research and technology development to help developing countries manage natural resources more sustainably, promote innovation in agriculture, and improve the quality of diets with studies on the best ways to use indigenous crops for healthy nutrition, FAO said.

That is how it is in the international scene. Mindanao should recognize the importance of managing natural resources as well for sustainability.

We are, after all, just temporary beings and will soon pass on. Imagine if we were to leave a Mindanao where not a single edible plant can grow. That will be a great tragedy considering that we and the generations before us have enjoyed a fertile land and lush landscapes.