THE 2nd Western Visayas Agri-Aqua Investment Forum on Nov. 7-9, 2018 at the Iloilo Convention Center eyes to provide avenues for Iloilo produce to the global market.
The three-day event is themed “Accelerating Agricultural Investments for Global Markets.” It is organized by the Panay Organic Producers Association Inc. (Popa) in partnership with the Iloilo provincial government, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Tourism.
POPA executive director Larry Nacionales, former regional director of the Department of Agriculture–Western Visayas, said multinational companies, established entrepreneurs, and industry experts will impart their knowledge and best practices in agri-business particularly on coffee, cacao, high value fruits and vegetables, coconut; aqua-culture; poultry; and agri-farm tourism.
“It will not only focus on the technicalities but about market investments as well,” he said.
Some notable resource speakers are Gregoria Felisa Ruth Novales, vice president and corporate affairs executive of Nestle Philippines; Engr. Angel Puentespina, director of Puentespina Farms and will discuss about cacao; and Carlos Carpio former deputy administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority; among others.
Annette Galvez-Dacul, senior economist and agribusiness specialist from the University of Asia and the Pacific will discuss about the emerging commodities for global markets.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol was invited to deliver the keynote speech while Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. will welcome the guests.
Department of Trade and Industry-Iloilo Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena Jr. said the forum will complement the program of the provincial government geared towards the massive cultivation and production of coffee and cacao.
Defensor earlier said the province could become a major producer of coffee and cacao given the vast upland areas that are suitable for the plantation.
The Provincial Agriculture Office identified the five suitable areas such as Dingle and Passi City (for cacao) and Calinog, Janiuay and Maasin (for coffee).
“We saw the potential for further development of coffee and cacao in Iloilo. So we hope to bring bigger and more investment in the province and in Panay,” Cadena said.
On the third day, there will be a tour with DOT-accredited farms in Iloilo such as the Damires Hills in Janiuay, Ephrathah Farms in Badiangan, Orchard Valley in Pavia, and Midway Farm in Passi City.
Nacionales thanked the provincial government for its support. “Without the help from the province, we would find it hard to facilitate the event,” he said. Around 500 participants are expected to attend coming from the association of provincial agriculturists, government agencies, the academe, and the private sector. (PR)