THE Davao Trade Expo (Date) 2014 kicks off today, November 19, at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, giving focus on the vibrant banana industry.
The four-day event, which will run until November 22, is centered on the theme "Davao: From Local Agriculture to Global Agribusiness."
This year's edition of the trade expo features some 200 exhibitors coming from agri-trade and agri-industrial sectors and its complementary industries, food (fresh, processed and packaging), machineries and equipment, post-harvest facilities, agricultural chemicals, animal husbandry, fertilizers and pest management, financing, ICT and logistics, among others.
Organizers are expecting some 7,000 visitors from different provinces and cities to take part in Date 2014.
The Date 2014 will be highlighted with the staging of the 2014 International Banana Symposium which will gather local and national industry experts who deliver plenary sessions on the challenges and opportunities of the banana industry.
There will be 12 plenary topics that will be delivered, some of them are "Status of the Philippine Banana Industry: Opportunities and Challenges," "Working with Agrarian Reform Communities," "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Banana Industry," and "Banana Industry Science and Technology Strategic Plan."
The plenary sessions will be given on November 20 at the same venue.
There will also be a Memorandum of Agreement signing ceremony between Anflocor and the University of the Philippines Mindanao on the establishment of a research center for the banana industry.
On November 21, there will be an overview on banana markets of South Korea, China, and Iran.
There will also be topics on market opportunities, challenges, and technology for the banana industry, some of them are "Trends and Opportunities for the Global Banana Industry," "Challenge for Medium and Small Scale Banana Growers," and "Fresh Cavendish Market Opportunities."
Some of the speakers who will be speaking are Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) executive director Stephen Antig, Bioversity International Genetic Resources Conservation and Use senior scientist Dr. Nicolas Roux, and Stewart Lindsay, principal development horticulturist and team leader of the Banana Production Systems Horticulture and Forestry Science, Agri-Science of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia.
Organizers are expecting more than 300 foreign and local delegates to the conference. They will be coming from the academe, research and development sector, government agencies and private businesses concerned with the banana industry both locally and internationally.
Other side events of Date 2014 include a Networking Night, hosted by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, on November 19 and a Friendship Night on November 21 hosted by Pacific International Lines and TMS. These will also be held at the same venue.
The trade expo is spearheaded by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, City Government of Davao, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association Inc., Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association, Bioversity International, International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, and Bapnet.