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Filipino Farmers, Fishers Conquered World Market

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

PHILIPPINES - The country pays tribute to the hardworking labour force and stakeholders of the Philippine agriculture and fishery sector as the Department of Agriculture leads the nationwide celebration of Farmers' and Fisherfolk's Month.

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''This month of May, we recognise and commend the contribution of small farmers, fishers, ruralfolk, and other stakeholders of the country’s agriculture and fishery industry who continue to heed the Aquino government's call to attain food sufficiency and sustainability,'' Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.

As part of the opening programme, at the DA central office in Quezon City, Secretary Alcala — represented by Undersecretaries Joel Rudinas and Antonio Fleta, who co-chair this year’s farmers’ and fisherfolk’s month celebration — conferred a plaque of recognition to farmers’ groups and the private sector for being a part of a milestone in Philippine agriculture as their respective products were exported to other countries from March to May, this year.

Last March, 20 metric tons of yellow granex onions from Nueva Ecija were shipped to Osaka, Japan, as part of a partnership of DA, farmers’ groups and the National Onion Growers Cooperative Marketing Association (NOGROCOMA).

Forty days later, a shipment of 166 MT small red onions or ‘lasona’ from Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions was delivered to Indonesia, courtesy of the Vegetables Importers, Exporters and Vendors Association (VIEVA).

On the 29 April, an initial 24 MT of corn feed silage for cattle was shipped to Busan, South Korea through the initiative of Ploughshares, Inc., National Corn Board and the DA corn program. The corn silage was sourced from farmers in Pangasinan.

On 6 May, the DA rice programme in collaboration with farmer-members of Don Bosco Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DBMPC) in Cotabato, SL Agritech Corp., and VIEVA, has exported an initial 35 MT of organic black rice (15MT) aromatic Jasponica rice (20MT) to Dubai.

Last May, another batch of 15MT of organic black, brown and red rice from DBMPC was delivered to HongKong.

''These are testaments to the Filipinos' competitiveness, showing to the world that our small farmers are now ready to compete,'' Secretary Alcala said.

The Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s month celebration at the DA central office in Quezon City also features a week-long ‘tiangge’ or farm and food products for sale, and cooking demonstrations of various menus using brown rice, white corn, cassava, tanglad, stevia, and asitava, among others farm and fishery commodities. Both offerings are open to the public.

The month of May is celebrated every year as “Farmers and Fisherfolk’s Month” under Presidential Proclamation No. 33 to give due recognition to the invaluable contribution of farmers, fishers, and other agri-fishery industry stakeholders to nation’s sustained economic and inclusive growth.