In Mindanao Food Congress, Hopes for ‘Doable Action Agenda’

Apr. 19, 2007

DAVAO CITYKey agribusiness players in Mindanao aim for stronger government-private sector partnership in addressing food and agri-industry concerns across the island-region when the 6th Mindanao Food Congress opens here on 18-19 July 2007 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

The Mindanao Business Council, along with its cooperators from the government and private sector, formalized here yesterday the conduct of the 6th Mindanao Food Congress, an annual gathering of key players in Mindanao food and agriculture industry to discuss industry issues and policy initiatives.

A statement of cooperation among 12 cooperators of the 6th MFC was signed here yesterday, along with the unveiling of the official congress logo.

This year’s congress gears up for a bolder move to enhance food security in Mindanao as it focuses its theme on “Enhancing Food Production and Profitability in Mindanao”.

Sebastian Angliongto, chairman emeritus of MBC, said that this congress aims to define specific and doable interventions that will complement government’s effort to increase Mindanao’s food productivity and profitability.

“Gone are the days when we solely look at government in addressing the various challenges besetting the food industry,” said Angliongto, also the founding chair of the MFC.

“Instead the spirit of closer collaboration and complementation shall henceforth, be the centerpiece of our strategies and future actions in so far as policy initiatives are concerned,” he added.

Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chair of the Mindanao Economic Development Council, lauded the private sector for sustaining the efforts to enhance food production as a means to achieving peace and development in the island.

“This reminds us that when we speak of peace and development, we need food security,” said Leyretana, adding that the national government under the Super Region Strategy gives high priority to Mindanao’s agricultural productivity by positioning the island-region as the main convergence zone for food production, high-value crops and agri-fishery products.

Since 1998, the Mindanao Food Congress upholds the island-region’s position as the nation’s food basket and provides a venue for policy discussions affecting the food industry.

This year’s congress will discuss topics on organic farming, halal food, technologies to improve food production and processing, improved market access, models of effective agricultural development programs and government support programs for trade and market promotion.

Aside from plenary sessions, the 6th MFC will also feature a techno showcase for the food sector, exhibit of Mindanao food products, and a reverse trade fair for prospective food buyers and sellers.

Cooperators of the 6th MFC include the Mindanao Economic Development Council, Department of Agriculture 11, Department of Trade and Industry 11, Department of Tourism 11, Department of Science and Technology 11, City Government of Davao, Mindanao Fruit Industry Council, Davao City Investment Promotions Center, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Food Processors Association of Davao and Davao Hograisers Association. (MEDCo)

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