NOW is the perfect time to invest and expand in agribusiness as brighter prospects is seen for this sector, especially in Mindanao, starting this year.
One of the agricultural business firm that is leading to this direction is Vitarich Corp., seizing and tapping the opportunities in the Mindanao market.
“We are growing by 10 to 15 percent here, we can say that our expansion now is focused in Mindanao, especially for poultry and aquatic products as we can see business is growing. We have our biggest population of chicken growing here in Mindanao,” Stephanie Nicole Sarmiento-Garcia, Vitarich treasurer and chief finance officer, said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao at the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony of its new poultry feed mill in Panacan last June 8.
The expansion included the new Halal-certified poultry feed mill plant in Panacan and the aqua mill plant in Bunawan.
These expansions, Garcia said is entirely to support and meet the demand of the growing economy, population and buyers in Mindanao particularly Davao City.
“There are actually a lot of people to feed here in Mindanao, we just have to align ourselves to the way the diversity of Mindanao is. We see a bright future not only with Davao but the whole of Mindanao,” she said.
One of the company’s big project now is its P250-million poultry feed mill within the four-hectare compound of Vitarich in Panacan. The facility, once constructed is seen as the pioneer poultry feed mill with Halal certification and standards. The feed mill is targeted to be operational by the third quarter of 2017.
“We cannot just supply chicken to the market, we have to take into consideration that we have to supply it within the standards of our Muslim brothers and sisters, that is why we build this specialized feed mill,” Garcia said.
The new poultry feed mill plant has a capacity of 10 tons per hour. The project is in collaboration with Davao South Feedmill Corp.
“This is to enable Vitarich Mindanao operations have the additional capacity particularly in the production of broiler feeds,” Edilberto Manuel, Feedmill manager for Visayas-Mindanao operations, for his part, said.
She also said that it is the demand for chicken and even fish that also prompted them to expand more as everybody eats chicken, fish regardless of what religious inclinations.
Apart from the Halal-certified poultry feed mill, Vitarich is also set to launch its newest aqua mill in Bunawan this July.
Garcia shared that big factor of its aggressive expansion here in Mindanao is the hopes given by the incoming administration to be led by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte as he promised a lot for the agriculture sector in the country.
“With his promises on supporting agribusiness, we are more encouraged to invest, before we do not want to invest so much because of the risk of smuggling, lack of government support, but with the incoming president, our worries are taken off already,” she said.
She added that the best way to grow the agribusiness industry is to invest in hard assets as not much agribusiness firms in the stock market, as the nature of the business id risky. But she was quick to add that investors now will move to a different direction as light is seen on sight in businesses which are centered on agri-produce.