Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban underscored the importance of Filipino food champions in the upliftment of  Philippine agriculture as the first week of the 2023 Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month (FFM) celebration came to a close on Friday, May 5, 2023.

During the recognition ceremony of the agri-preneurs who participated in the first week of FFM, Panganiban expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders who continue to partner with the government in its food security agenda.

In his message, the Senior Undersecretary committed to fully support the yearly celebration which pays tribute to the invaluable contributions of the farmers and fishers in nation building.

“Kami po taon-taon ay nagpapaganap ng ganitong okasyon para malaman ng bansa na layon nating mapalawak ang ating ani at kita at hindi tayo umaasa sa traders na nagbibigay ng presyo sa ating mga produkto,” Senior Usec. Panganiban enthused.

During the ceremony, DA, through its National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) and Halal Food Industry Development Program (HFIDP), recognized 17 halal and organic agriculture enterprises.

The said enterprises, who also participated in the week-long bazaar held at the DA Central Office grounds, were: Muba-Arak Food Products; MS3 Agri-Ventures; Emerald Durian Palace; Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing Corporation; Polangui Organic Kalamay and Muscovado Producers and Farmers Association, Inc.; Batangas Egg Producers Multipurpose Cooperative; Yakap at Halik Multipurpose Cooperative; Quezon Organic Agriculture Cooperative; Great Love Pharmaceutical, Inc.; T.P. Food Processing Corporation; Milis Agri Products; Lisbos Cacao Trading; Radin Food Products; Agripreneur Producers and Farmers Association; Rural Farmers Cooperative; and Bahaghari Global Food, Inc.

DA Assistant Secretary for Administration Jane C. Bacayo, who also serves as Vice-Chairperson of the FFM 2023 Steering Committee, expressed his gratitude to the NOAP and the HFIDP for their contributions to the DA’s efforts in ensuring food and nutrition security in the country.

By virtue of the Presidential Proclamation No. 33, series of 1989, the FFM is celebrated every May to recognize the role of Filipino farmers, fishers, and agricultural laborers in the country’s agricultural and economic development.

The second week of FFM will feature the crops subsector including rice, corn, high-value crops, coconut, sugar, and fiber. Livestock and poultry will take center stage on the third week, while fisheries will be highlighted on the fourth and final week of this year’s FFM celebration. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)