Farmers and fishermen in the Ilocos region were urged to benefit from the Department of Agriculture’s agribusiness support program to promote their products.
DA Undersecretary Jose Gabriel La Viña pitched the ASPIRE (Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Exposition) at a recent regional agri-aqua fair.
“ASPIRE can help farmers and fishermen for their marketing. We will also give them technology and training for them to become agri-businessmen, because if they are not knowledgeable in business, they will not be able to maximize their products, wherein middlemen and big companies are benefiting but not the farmers or fishermen themselves,” La Viña said.
He noted ASPIRE, launched last year, is a program of the DA, Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
DTI Ilocos regional director Florante Leal said they support fishermen and farmers through their programs such as the Shared Service Facility, which provides machineries to their groups to be used in processing and packaging their agri-products.
“For the agri-products to be competitive, ensuring its packaging quality is necessary, while the Department of Science and Technology is our partner in ensuring the safety of products and securing the necessary food permits,” Leal said.
Meanwhile, La Viña said the regional fair lets farmers and fishermen inform government of their needs.
He said the ASPIRE also informs farmers and fishermen on how to avail of loans with lower interest rate from government banks.