President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reiterated that transforming the country’s agriculture and fisheries into a robust sector is the top priority of his administration as he acknowledged the need to continue opening more opportunities for local farmers and fisherfolk.
“With our energies and resources combined, I am confident that we will not only achieve our goal of feeding the Filipino people, but also achieve our dream of making the Philippines a leading agricultural resource hub in the region and the world,” President Marcos said.
The President enjoined all agriculture and fisheries stakeholders to recommit to synergizing efforts towards the country’s agricultural and economic productivity during the AgriLink/FoodLink/AquaLink 2022 Opening Program at the World Trade Center on October 6, 2022.
“The strengthening of the agricultural sector is the strengthening of survival, the strengthening of life. And that is how important we have always considered that agricultural sector,” President Marcos said.
He explained he took on the portfolio to serve as Agriculture Secretary not only to highlight the sector’s importance, but also to accelerate the development of the value chain and strengthen the services to provide enough, accessible, and affordable agricultural commodities.
“In feeding a nation, we also provide the stability for that nation, for the Philippines to be able to look forward and say, ‘We can progress from here because we have a strong foundation in our agricultural sector,’” the President added.
The AgriLink/FoodLink/AquaLink has established itself as the biggest internationally recognized and most participated agribusiness exhibition in the Philippines. It has also generated various innovations and recommendations that helped the local agriculture sector.
After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the AgriLink celebrates its 27th year with the theme, “Inclusive Growth in Agribusiness Chain: Key to Stability” with special focus on the high value crops in the Caraga Region.
During the three-day event, more than 500 indoor trades, retail booths and outdoor booths will be available to showcase products, information, technologies, equipment, and services.
“Trade events like Agrilink, Foodlink, and Aqualink help us support our farmers and our fisherfolk. We empower them to become catalysts who will contribute to the recovery and inclusive growth of our economy,” President Marcos noted.
He also stressed that the conduct of trade events and the creation of market opportunities could improve the agricultural value chain and aid in the overall development of the small and medium-scale enterprises in the agribusiness sector.
In addition, President Marcos reported that the government has initially released P1.54 billion that benefitted more than 17 million farmers and fisherfolk, but he noted that the work to improve the agriculture sector has only just begun.
“Now that we are beginning to see the shape of the new normal, I assure you that this administration is one with you in fulfilling our goals and targets for the agricultural sector. We will build ourselves back better together with the people who have been our bedrock of strength and of sustenance, even the most challenging times,” President Marcos expressed. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)