SULONG to tackle reforms in agri sector

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    The government will host more than 500 stakeholders involved in agribusiness tomorrow to discuss issues affecting the sector, in a move to call government action for reforms in the farm sector, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

    The DOF and the Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry an1d the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will host this delegation of public and private/business sector stakeholders for the Sulong Pilipinas 2019 Agribusiness Summit on December 17 at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City.

    William Dar, agriculture secretary, said the country’s public and private stakeholders will continue to work together in “transforming traditional agri-fishery farms into inclusive, resilient and globally competitive agribusiness enterprises.”

    For his part, Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said the holding of the Sulong Pilipinas for agribusiness is how public-private partnership works.

    “The government side delivers the medium. The private sector delivers the content. It is a productive symbiosis,” Dominguez said.

    Sulong involves a series of consultative conferences between the Duterte administration and the private sector, which started in June 2016.

    For the 10th edition of this dialogue, the DOF said in a statement participants from the agribusiness community will discuss a wide range of issues to produce actionable recommendations to help the government focus its efforts on implementing game-changing reforms in the agribusiness sector.

    There will be workshops on poultry and livestock; grains (corn and rice); fisheries; coconut; high-value crops (cacao, coffee, rubber, banana, mango and vegetables); infrastructure; and farm consolidation/clustering and agri-tourism.

    Recommendations to accelerate the implementation of these actionable programs will then be presented to President Duterte.

    In addition to Dar and Dominguez, also invited to the event are other Cabinet members, among them secretaries Roy Cimatu of Environment and Natural Resources, John Castriciones of Agrarian Reform and Eduardo Año of the Interior and Local Government.

    The DOF said representatives from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Go Negosyo advocacy group, Makati Business Club, and Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. have signified their participation in the event.

    “This collaboration between DA and DOF with private sector stakeholders is expected to make for a more robust agribusiness sector founded on Dar’s eight paradigms of the ‘New Thinking’ for agriculture, which includes modernization and industrialization, among other crucial elements in sectoral transformation,” the DOF said.