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Philippines: GenSan hosting 7th National Vegetable Congress

The country’s “Tuna Capital” will help boost another key agriculture sector when it hosts the 7th National Vegetable Congress from July 14 to 16, at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center here.

“It’s an opportunity for the national industry to take advantage of new opportunities for the Philippine vegetable sector,” said Jovic Santos, congress chairman and president of the Central Mindanao Vegetable Industry Development Council (CEMVIDEC), the lead organizer of the event.

Under the theme “Accelerating the Development of the Philippine Vegetable Industry in Response to National and Global Challenges,” the event is expected to draw more than 400 delegates, include growers’ associations, input and logistics suppliers, wholesale buyers and agribusiness investors from across the country.

The congress is being organized by CEMVIDEC in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the local governments of General Santos and Sarangani and USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program.

Santos noted that the local vegetable industry is now feeling the greater impact of globalization, as more foreign-produced agricultural crops enter the domestic market.

He pointed out that local vegetable growers should take this as a challenge to further improve their competitiveness.

Santos said that a key strategy being adopted by the Mindanao vegetable industry is to strengthen the link between the production and marketing of vegetables from the island-region. 

Institutional buyers, including concessionaires of Manila-based supermarket chains and major food processors, will meet with vegetable producers at the congress to discuss volume and quality requirements, as well as delivery and distribution.

“Through market-matching events such as this, growers can directly link up with buyers and penetrate profitable markets,” Santos said.

In recent years, vegetable producer associations such as CEMVIDEC, the Northern Mindanao Vegetable Producer Association (NORMINVeggies)  and the Vegetable Industry Council of Southern Mindanao (VICSMIN) have worked to introduce best farming practices, including production clustering, among their members.

The congress is expected to conclude with the presentation of recommendations to the national government on major issues affecting the industry.

The conference will also feature an agriculture trade exhibit and a tour to the vegetable farm of boxing champ Manny Pacquiao in Malungon, Saranggani Province, where six major seed companies will conduct a “vegetable derby” to showcase their best seed varieties.

Publication date: 7/2/2009


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