The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research participated in the National Economic Development Authority-Productivity Enhancement Program (NEDA-PEP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a two-day product exhibit and knowledge-learning market initiatives at the SM Mega Malltrade Hall 2 on held on 12-13 October 2010.
PEP is a financing window implemented by NEDA utilizing 20 percent of its peso proceeds of the RP-Japan Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers (GAUF) formerly known as the KR2 (Kennedy Round 2) while the remaining 80 percent is administered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC). Meanwhile, IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1977 as an international financial institution.
Product exhibit and knowledge-learning market
In an effort to recognize the assistance provided by the Japanese Government to the Government of the Philippines, NEDA-PEP partnered with IFAD to showcase the successful projects and programs funded under the PEP-GAUF. The event, tagged as "Shared Resources - Shared Development" capitalizes the valuable assistance extended by the Government of Japan through GAUF, which helps developing nations achieve food sufficiency and alleviate poverty.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Makoto Katsura, graced the occasion by welcoming the participants to event. In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Katsura said that more than three decades of RP-Japan relationship has indeed created a generation of mutual understanding and friendship which is geared toward the national development of each country. He cited that event is an act of promoting agricultural productivity in the countryside, and thus will result to a more vibrant and dynamic Philippine agriculture.
IFAD Country Programme Manager Sana F.K. Jatta likewise acknowledged the Philippine government particularly NEDA for collaborating with IFAD and for hosting the 2nd Knowledge and Learning Market. The activity aims to promote continuing investment, and upscale and replicate proven technologies and best practices for potential users and investment partners while spreading public awareness and appreciation.
Hon. Jatta said that IFAD is also committed to help reduce poverty in the countryside focusing further on rural development, and the call for knowledge sharing and resources is imperative for economic growth and development.
A portrayal of being "Makatao, Makakalikasan, Makabayan" was the opening statement delivered by DA Undersecretary Joel S. Rudinas, who represented Secretary Proceso J. Alcala. In his opening remarks, Undersecretary Rudinas underscored the current thrust of DA through the AGRI Pinoy banner programs under the Aquino Administration.
DA's intervention in this undertaking is a welcome and positive development in terms of promoting high impact agriculture and fisheries programs that would ultimately benefit the marginalized farmers and fisherfolk .
Being this year's host, NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando G. Tungpalan likewise thanked and acknowledged everyone particularly DA-NAFC and all agencies of government including the private sector, state universities and colleges, federations, and other stakeholders and development partners involved in making the event a success.
Sixty exhibitors, funded through NEDA, IFAD and DA-NAFC, displayed their respective products and showcased their products through audio-video presentations for easier appreciation.
A positive public turn out also concluded the event through an investment and public forum held during the event whose objective is to serve as venue to influence policy formation in support to the rural communities.
- In 2008, NAFC and BAR signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) establishing the "Technology Management for Competitive Agriculture and Fisheries Sector" (TMCAFS) which aimed to speed up the transfer of mature technologies for farmers' and fishers' use and for increased productivity and income by commercializing these technologies, thus, transforming agriculture and fisheries into market-driven sectors. From this agreement, 16 projects were funded and five of them were featured during the NEDA-IFAD Exhibit. These included:
- Promotion of Protective Cultivation Technology for High Value Organic Vegetable Production of the Bataan Peninsula State University in Balanga, Bataan. The ppromotion of this technology ensures the economic benefits of farmers using organic inputs that provides safe vegetable and ready supply organically grown vegetables in the in the market.
- Commercialization and Technology Promotion of Mango Wine and Dried Mango by the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University in Zambales. The processing of mango by drying and turning the spent syrup into wine lessens post harvest losses thus, more income is derived by mango growers.
- Enhancing the Productivity of Abaca Farms in the Bicol Region Through Integrated Farming System: Abakayamanan Program by Dr. Editha Lomerio, FIDA V, Legaspi. The program emphasizes the active participation of abaca farmers as partners in adaptation and further improvement of integrated farming system to increase abaca farm productivity.
- Development and Promotion of Locally Available Botanical Plants in Region IX. This explore the possibility of making juice concentrate from malunggay leaf and other plant extracts and evaluate the nutritional benefits of different juice concentrate and tea preparations using different botanical plants, and
- Sweet Sorghum Processing and Marketing Towards Commercialization in Ilocos Norte. The proponent, BAPAMIN Farmers' Cooperative is located in Batac, Ilocos Norte. This KR2 project ventures into quality packaging processed sweet sorghum food products that is globally competitive and safe.
To encourage growth and development in current and future projects, the RP-Japan KR2 organizers lauded the achievements of the exhibitors by creating the needed awareness that agricultural and environmental projects with economic impacts are being achieved and are within reach of those who are willing to share knowledge and resources.