LEGAZPI CITY --- Local farmers and fisher folks can maximize opportunities for higher income through the ASPIRE project piloted by the Department of Agriculture in five regions including the Bicol region.
ASPIRE, which stands for Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Expositions, is a partnership project of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) aimed at converging the key players in agriculture business and industry.
““We want to build a simpler supply chain for processors and suppliers to easily purchase raw materials within an area. The processors always cite the absence of raw materials while farmers cite the absence of market,” DA Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Engr. Leandro H. Gazmin said.
The project, Gazmin added, aspires for a healthy industry where local farmers are not at a risk of losing.
“We aspire for the farmers, processors and consumers to all be happy in a healthy industry, where farmers are not at risk of losing. We will look at Bicol’s priority commodities and strengthen value addition of quality products,” he said.
Initially selected as priority commodities for ASPIRE in the region are gabi, pili, abaca and pineapple.
The project will likewise be piloted in regions 3, 6, 12 and CAR.
Gazmin furthered that the DA has already come up with the Registry System on Basic Sectors in Agriculture, an electronic compilation of basic information on farmers, farm laborers and fisherfolks in the country to start with the market matching.
ASPIRE was designed by the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) with the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Divisions in the regions as lead orchestrator.
Carolyn Castro, OIC Director of the AMAS, said ASPIRE was created to integrate market development services to farmers, fishers, micro small and medium enterprise (MSME).
“It also aims to promote regional commodities to showcase strong backward and forward linkages with farmers and fisher folks, develop the capacities of local farmers, fisher folks and MSMEs to optimize market opportunities and promote/advocate investment opportunities to encourage market investments,” Castro added.
Project ASPIRE includes production support, enterprise development and industry support, investment promotion and market promotion and development as its four driving components. PIA5