THE Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao, through the Agribusiness Division, said there is a need to increase their annual budget in order to help more local farmers become agri-entrepreneurs in the region.
Agribusiness Division chief Janet Dobli told SunStar Davao that they have a constant annual budget of P10 million, but they are proposing to increase the budget to P11 million in 2020 to have more activities that will help farmers venture agribusiness and have a stable market for their products.
She said the increase will cover new market infrastructures, additional strategies, more activities related to enterprise development, and hiring of new job orders for market information, among others.
This year, the agency is targeting at least 10 percent increase number of farmers venturing agribusiness with their fresh or processed products under their programs in the Agribusiness Division.
She said that from 600 individuals in 2018, they aim to reach at least 675 individuals to become agri-entrepreneurs this year, especially in market promotion of their products locally and even globally.
“Part of our activities is market promotion. We promote their products locally or throughout the country through trade fair and exhibit opportunities. We have lined up programs for them. Aside from that, we provide them a pavilion where they can showcase their products and also we invite buyers and linkages for them through processors,” Dobli said.
She said it is important for local farmers to know how to market their products, may it be fresh or processed, in order to become sustainable.
However, agri-entrepreneurs are still continued to be challenged by other factors aside from market access. These are advancement of technology some farmers are having a hard time coping up: the high standard requirements of buyers, the production of enough volume requirements, and disasters and diseases that are hitting the agriculture sector.
“Agribusiness players are very important. Naa gyud dapat mututok sa ilang marketing, not only sa ilang product but also ang industry like unsa ilang mga needs (Agribusiness players are very important that is why there should be an office to solely focus on their marketing and their other needs),” she said, adding that strengthening of their organization is also one of their priorities.