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DAR urges AmCham to invest in agri

EXPLORE agribusiness opportunities under the “new normal” to attain efficient management and delivery of agriculture and fishery products that are critical to the country’s food security requirements.

Thus Agriculture Secretary William Dar appealed to members of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) during a recent virtual meeting wherein he encouraged them to invest in agriculture, especially in the provision of production, processing, cold chain, marketing, logistics and modern technologies, and agripreneurship.

Among major investments in the agriculture sector, we urgently need cold chain facilities, including attendant logistics, to enable food producers to efficiently manage supply and deliver farm and fishery products to the market at regular basis,” Dar said.

The United States (US) remains the leading trading partner of the Philippines in agri-fisheries and food, and the second-largest export destination of Philippine agri-fisheries and food products.

The US remains to be the top source of our food and agricultural product imports amounting to $2.8 billion in 2019, about 2.6 times the value of Philippine food and agricultural exports to that country,” said Dar adding that the Philippine agriculture sector is about a P1.8-trillion industry.

He also expressed optimism that despite a flat growth in 2020, the sector will continue as a major contributor to the country’s economic resurgence.

In particular, we encourage AmCham members and other private sector stakeholders to invest in warehouses and cold storage for agricultural and fishery commodities. We need these facilities particularly during the harvest season, when there are surpluses, and thus buy at lower cost and store them. This is a tolling business that the private sector can take part of. We need not depend on the government alone. We need your involvement,” Dar added.