The government is set to intensify the promotion of farm exports to take advantage of the expanded global market access under the free trade agreements and to help address the lackluster export performance of the agriculture sector.
To effectively promote agricultural exports, the Deparmtnet of Agriculture aims to strengthen links with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
In a recent Philexport board of trustees meeting with the government trustees, the Department of Agriculture has signed a memorandum of agreement with the DTI and the DFA to promote agricultural exports and lure in more investments into the farm sector.
Philexport trustee for food Roberto Amores pointed out that a measly 2.9 percent of investments went to agriculture-related projects from 2001 to 2008.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the preferential access to the markets of its FTA partners, the agriculture department would would target China, Japan and South Korea.
The DA will also intensify its investment and export promotion efforts in the Middle East and the EU, where export performance of the country has deteriorated in the last five years.
Product-wise, the DA will strive to enhance the export competitiveness of rawns, fruits and vegetables, especially onions, of which export growth has been constrained by the quality and safety standards imposed by export partners, particularly Japan.