The Department of Agriculture (DA), together with exhibitors and participants of various local and international industries, lead this year’s AgriLink/ FoodLink/ AquaLink, which commenced on October 5, 2023 at the World Trade Center in Pasay.
The AgriLink/ FoodLink/ AquaLink, which is now in its 28th year, is the largest annual agribusiness exhibition and seminar organized by the Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development (FRLD).
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., whose message was delivered by Sr. Usec. Panganiban, stressed that the conduct of the AgriLink/ FoodLink/ AquaLink 2023 reflects the shared commitment of both the public and private sectors to promote agricultural growth in the country.
He also thanked the FRLD for their continuous support to farmers, fisherfolk, and small and medium-scale enterprises in the agribusiness sector, recognizing that their initiatives provided a platform for integrating various roles in fostering increased production, commercial value chains, market development, and better services.
In his message, Pres. Marcos also underscored the importance of the agriculture sector as the foundation of the Philippine economy. He said that this year’s theme underscores the importance of plant health and value adding as a key to competitiveness.
“Whether the threats to agriculture come from pests, diseases, or climate change, it is important that we continue to protect and safeguard our crops to ensure a healthy harvest,” Pres. Marcos said.
“Indeed, a strong agribusiness sector cannot thrive without strong plant health, which encompasses integrated agricultural practices, such as sanitation, fertilization, irrigation, soil management, among others, as it leaves everything to chance, luck, or the mercy of nature,” he added.
Furthermore, he recognized technology and innovation as key drivers of the government’s effort to assess and reduce risks to crops. He called for the adoption of modern farming practices and the development of cutting-edge technologies to promote sustainable and efficient farming processes.
“Through innovation, we will not only preserve but also add greater value to our agricultural products, improving the livelihood of our farmers and enhancing our competitiveness in this globalized world,” Pres. Marcos said.
The head of state assured that the government will continue to provide unwavering support to farmers, fisherfolk, and small and medium-scale agribusinesses. He urged everyone to support the government’s endeavors in building a more modern, efficient, and sustainable agribusiness sector.
“Our ongoing efforts—from investing in infrastructure and improving roads to enhancing irrigation systems and fostering technology development –are all geared towards improving the efficiency and value of our crops and agricultural products,” the President added.
DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, Senator Cynthia Villar, and Agrilink 2023 Chairman Ricardo Tolentino officially opened the ceremonies and exhibit.
Also in attendance are distinguished guests from the international scene including Ambassador of Israel Ilan Simon Fluss, Ambassador of Thailand Tull Traisorat, Ambassador of South Africa BN Radebe-Netshitenzhe, KAMICO Chairman Shin Gil Kim, and the FRLD board of directors and co-organizers. ### (Kristel Joyce Merle, DA-AFID)