FOLLOWING the proposal of a fruit research center, fruit growers and traders are encouraged to value add through innovating.
Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) president John Carlo Tria said he has asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to prioritize the development of a fruit research center under the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center (RIIC).
He said the fruit research center aims to encourage value adding, through innovations, for agricultural goods in the region.
“Our board issued a resolution requesting the DTI, since we have signed the RIIC, to develop a fruit research center wherein a lot of our locally produced and grown fruits can be developed into new products especially for health and wellness and food processed products,” he said.
“[It] can obtain higher value when they are sold especially from markets that are far from Davao because fruits are perishable,” he added.
He said this step increases local demand for the agriculture commodities.
“We are trying to encourage consumption of a lot of these products so that we will lessen our dependence on the volatile markets,” he said.
Department of Finance (DOF) assistant secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II has also urged the farmers to venture in value-adding of their crops.
“We would like our farmers to be agripreneurs. Not just a producer of a crop. Because if you end their participation to end in the value chain by the production of a commodity, the livelihood side is not enhanced,” he said.
“But if we allow them, enable them and support them in capturing a larger part of the value chain from post-harvest, to production packaging, to marketing, etc. as close as they can get to the retail side, then the livelihood of the farmers will improve because they will make more money,” he added.
Lambino said he is optimistic that the plan would engage young people to go into agriculture.
“A lot of young people who have new ideas, who like technology, and who will apply modern farming methods to our agriculture space,” he said.