The Development Academy of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Asian Productivity Organization, will conduct a three-day international conference called “Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference: Enhancing Exports of Organic Products” this September 13-15 at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City.
The conference, expected to be attended by participants from the APO’s 14 member countries namely: Cambodia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, and Philippines. The conference aims to provide a platform for leaders of the organic agrifood sector to discuss emerging trends as well as issues and challenges affecting the productivity and sustainability of Asian organic agrifood small- and medium-scale enterprises.
The conference will be graced by the country’s key movers in the development of the agriculture sector from both legislative branches of government led by Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food; Congressman Jose T. Panganiban Jr., Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food of the House of Representatives; and, Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing and Regional Engagement of the Department of Agriculture, as the lead agency for the promotion of organic agriculture in the country.
It also seeks to bring together key stakeholders in the said sector, share successful models of SMEs in organic farming and marketing and exporting organic products as well as enhance understanding of export opportunities for agribusiness and food industry SMEs while strengthening them for promoting inclusive growth in their countries.
Scheduled to serve as resource persons in the conference is an international cast that includes Mr. Andre Leu, President of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) – Australia; Harrace Hok Chung Lau, Director of Asia Pacific eOneNet Limited of Hong Kong; Ms. Chayaa Nanjappa, founder of the Nectar Fresh, Pure Honey and Food Products of Karnataka, India; Sakoto Miyoshi, representative of Global Organic Textile Standard of Japan; Dr. Zhou Zejiang, senior adviser to the Organic Food Development Center under the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China; Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, program officer of the APO. Equally competent resource speakers from the Philippines include Mr. Patrick B. Belisario, Chairperson of the Organic Producer Trade Association and Vice-President of the IFOAM-Asia; Ms. Cherrie De Erit Atilano, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AGREA Philippines; and others who will share good practices in farming, marketing and promotions of agrifood products.
Representatives from national and local government offices, members of the academe, state universities and colleges, and employees of agribusinesses and other agricultural enterprises are expected to join the conference.
Among the topics to be discussed during the first two days, which will be capped on the third day by the participants’ visit to an SME site, are emerging global and regional trends, opportunities and challenges in organic agriculture and the food industry; key regulations governing the entry of organic food products in major markets such as the US, Japan and Europe; development of business intelligence, certification system, and other support programs for organic exporters; digital technology for developing smart organic product value chains; and successful models of organic agribusiness and food industry SMEs.