Presenting his “New Thinking” for Philippine agriculture, Secretary William Dar enjoined the members of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) to invest in agriculture during a luncheon meeting on December 6, 2019 in Makati City.

“We are committed to facilitating your proposed investments or projects especially in agribusiness. The potential areas of partnership are boundless, so I invite you to invest in the provision of production, processing and marketing technologies,” Dar said after presenting the ongoing and planned activities at the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In his message, Dar enjoined Belgium Ambassador Michel Goffin to also invest in establishing of solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) as what Israel did.

“If you can bring in the same investment as the Israelis you are most welcome. The $200-million investment that we just have now concluded is not enough if we need to cover the countryside. We still have a big space for the company from Belgium,” he said.

During the meeting, Dar presented to the ECCP food safety measures being undertaken by DA, particularly the banning of pork and pork products from countries infected by African Swine Fever (ASF). He mentioned that all the meat and meat products that reach the markets are safe, having gone through proper documentation and processing.

He also informed the group that the prices of pork are coming back to normal. And this will help the hog raisers in the country.

Other areas that Dar raised during the meeting included inclusive agribusiness, which is the core of the “New Thinking” for agriculture and the crop diversification program as DA’s strategy to help farmers reduce their dependence on a single crop such as rice.

The ECCP is a bilateral foreign group that promotes European interests in the Philippines and vice versa. Headed by Mr. Nabil Francis, it has nearly 800 members offering business network that can translate to business opportunities.