THE 24 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from Davao Region generated P5,022,008 altogether during the recently concluded Hybrid National Food Fair and Exhibit in Metro Manila.

The Department of Trade and Industry-Davao Region (DTI-Davao) brought to the five-day event, which ran from June 1 to 5, the best food offerings from the region.

Among those featured at the fair are the cacao tablea, chocolates, banana chips, processed pineapple (including chili vinegar, wine, and jam), veggie noodles, herbal supplements, coconut-based food items, beverages, condiments, and various snack food choices. With the theme “Tara, Kain Tayo”, it was intended to regain the MSMEs’ market presence and help them in their journey towards recovery from the onslaught of the pandemic.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said that the decision of the organizer, the DTI- Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, to finally hold it face-to-face is a welcome development because of the opportunities that the exhibitors can take advantage of.

The assistance of the agency to the participating MSMEs during the entire undertaking led to the promotion of local products, the creation of market linkages with institutional buyers from Metro Manila, and the generation of sales. Of the more than P5 million sales, P989,297 was in cash, while booked sales totaled P527,265. In the meantime, the exhibitors are still negotiating for the P3,540,600 worth of sales.

The five leading Davao Region exhibitors in terms of sales generated are the Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo (Davao Oriental), AG Pacific Corporation (Davao del Sur), Nutrarich Nutraceutical Innovation (Davao City), Raymundo’s Homemade Products (Davao del Norte), and Malagos Agri-Ventures (Davao City).

“It can be recalled that since the beginning of the pandemic and the declaration of National Public Health Emergency in March 2020, many of the regular trade promotion and marketing events have been put on hold. However, with the improvement of the health situation recently, the organizers have started to make a comeback, including the NFF,” the local trade official said.

“We are glad that even with the health crisis, our MSMEs have continued to thrive and even prepared themselves for the eventual return of the trade fairs,” she added.

The provincial and field offices of DTI-Davao, in coordination with the SME development division at the regional office, have maintained their regular initiatives. At the same time, innovative programs and projects have been adopted to ensure that the necessary assistance and interventions are still being given despite the restrictions and limitations. Thus, virtual training, seminars, and trade events have been conducted incessantly amid the non-approval of in-person gatherings.

Apart from the traditional fair setting, the MSMEs from the region were also part of the simultaneous virtual events on the Lazada e-commerce platform, as well as on social media and other live streaming sites.

“The NFF 2022 has really become an avenue for us to showcase our MSMEs’ innovative and sustainable processed food products, wherein we were able to offer such physically to all potential buyers,” Ambi shared.

The featured MSMEs in the trade fair are recipients of any of the following DTI-Davao initiatives: Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME), One Town, One Product (OTOP), Shared Service Facilities (SSFs), and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). DTI-DAVAO