DA exec: More opportunities for CV agri-entrepreneurs
THE farm modernization efforts by the private and public sectors in Central Visayas have given Cebuano agri-entrepreneurs more opportunities for development and growth.
Gerry S. Avila, Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) Agribusiness and marketing assistance chief, gave this assessment of the agriculture sector in Central Visayas during the Agribusiness Investment Forum last week at the Harolds Hotel.
Avila cited production of pre- and post-processing equipment, increase of demand from buyers, better infrastructure and network, and construction of seaports and airports as among the factors that enable agri-entrepreneurs to produce and earn more in the past year.
He also cited the expected increase in the demand of local crops among neighboring Asean countries with the Asean integration opening the borders of the Philippines and the Asean community.
He said the demand for crops is growing, which leads to the country’s international market to grow.
He said rice producers are looking for more dryers to expedite the process of their production and coffee farmers are getting the help of Cebu-based coffee chain, Bo’s Coffee, to assist in the manufacturing of their coffee beans.
He also cited cocoa production in the province as a promising enterprise.
He said Cebu had become one of the best spots for agribusiness because of the province’s rapid commercial and trading efforts, high demand on agri-fishery products, and value-adding technology.
He also cited the steady growth in population, increase in per capita consumption, and security against avian influenza as also among the factors contributing to make Cebu a good place for agribusiness.
On the financial side, Ellorence D. Cruz, officer-in-charge of Board of Investments Cebu, said that the government is willing to help agribusiness entrepreneurs by giving them incentives.
He cited tax holidays for establishments that comply with the requirements of the agency as among those incentives.
He also cited insurance grants for farmers to give them financial protection in times of calamity.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the agricultural sector provides 12 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and Central Visayas is third among the regions that produce the most number of crops.
Dr. Nora Patron, assistant regional director of Cooperative Development Authority Cebu, also said that the province should build more good infrastructure and improve the cost of doing business to attract more investors in the sector./UP Cebu Intern Maurice Jitty M. Villaester
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