DESPITE an increase in foreign investors eyeing the agriculture sector of Davao region, the Department of Agriculture in Davao (DA 11) said total agricultural production still falls short of the demand.
DA 11 chief information officer Noel Provido told SunStar Davao Monday, June 17, 2019, that because of the difficulty to meet the demand, the agency is now focusing on expansion initiatives to increase agricultural production.
“We really have potential foreign market for our agricultural products, especially for our high-value crops. The problem is that we still cannot meet the volume demand,” Provido said.
“We even need to import these commodities. We can only export our agricultural products if there will be excess that is why we see the need for expansion,” he said, adding that there was even one coffee farmers’ cooperative that declined to supply a foreign business for tons of quality coffee per year.
Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) president Arturo Milan, in an interview with Sunstar Davao, said they are doing their part in promoting the agricultural sector of Davao City. However, he reiterated the same sentiments of DA 11 saying that the region's producer still do not have the scale to meet the demands of investors.
In a separate interview, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Mindanao (JCCM) president Ichido Miyake said there are already Japanese investors interested in venturing in the agriculture industry in Davao region, particularly in coffee, cacao, and coconut.
Provido said the interest of the Japanese investors is a welcome development as it indicates trust and confidence to local farmers. It would also mean expansion of market.
“We welcome investments in agriculture especially kung from the government of Japan kasi we need more investments in mechanization. This is to mechanize agriculture to make it more attractive to the younger generation and at the same time, to really improve the productivity,” he said.
“What is good in our region is that we still have a wide area for expansion and we have farmers who are willing to embrace modern technology,” he said.
DA is now working on with the local government units in identifying areas potential for agricultural production expansion and areas that could still be rehabilitated.
Aside from Japanese interests, Chinese investors are also looking into the agricultural and fisheries products of the region.
During a roundtable discussion on the Chinese Economy and Opportunities for the Philippines with Professor Brian Hook on June 14, 2019, Li Lin, Chinese Consul General in Davao City, said they have discussed with DA 11 on the shipment of tuna to China. He also said a Chinese investor is also looking into importing young coconut from Davao.