Farm clustering and consolidation’s role in agri dev’t highlighted in 2nd F2C2 Summit

Photo Credits: Department of Agriculture

From The Department of Agriculture 

The importance of farm clustering and consolidation in enhancing the competitiveness and resilience of the agricultural sector while supporting agricultural development was highlighted in the recently concluded Department of Agriculture-Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (DA-F2C2) second national cluster summit held at the Costa Palawan Resort, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan from May 28 to 29, 2024.

With the theme “Mula sa Kanya-Kanya, Patungo sa Sama-Sama,” the activity aims to further integrate, consolidate, and mainstream clustering and consolidation into the Department of Agriculture Operating Units, Banner Programs, and Regional Field Offices, agriculture and fisheries stakeholders, Local Government Units, and farmers and fisherfolk nationwide.

DA Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Atty. Alvin John Balagbag officiated the opening of the two-day summit, which was attended by more than 700 delegates nationwide. He was joined by DA-F2C2 National Program Director Engr. Ricardo Oñate and DA-MIMAROPA officials including Regional Technical Director for Operations Vener Dilig, and Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Celso Olido, Ph.D.

“F2C2 is an important program of the Department of Agriculture; it allows us to leverage on the economies of scale and market linkage. There is no other way than to go on clustering. Walang ibang paraan para tayo makapagproduce ng mas maraming agricultural products kung hindi tayo magkakaisa-isa,” he said.

Meanwhile, DA-MIMAROPA Regional Director Atty. Christopher Bañas vowed the Department’s full support for continuously implementing the program for a more inclusive development.

“Being inspired by the impact brought by clustering and consolidation, we in the Department of Agriculture promise you to implement program that supports each other strengths and experiences in contributing to inclusive agricultural development,” he stressed.

The first day of the summit was packed with a series of lectures aimed at assessing the F2C2 implementation and exploring partnerships and opportunities with the private sector and institutional partners. These include presentations from Farm Konekt Agri-Tech Supply Chain Platform for BIMP-EAGA Markets, Wasan Milling Company Sdn Bhd Market Opportunities for the Rice Clusters, Agri-Clusters Consolidation and Cooperation Project of Taiwan Technical Mission in the Philippines, ADB-F2C2 Technical Assistance Project, How Drones will Change the Rice Farming of New Hope Precision Agriculture Corporation, and BioPrime Fertilizer.

Exhibitors from the Farmers Cooperative and Associations in different regions also showcased their food products through various booths at the hotel convention hall.

On the second day, a breakout session was held facilitated by Jollibee Group Foundation to discuss the Farmers Entrepreneurship Program as well as the implementation of agro-enterprise clustering. Representatives from agri-technology and food companies such as San Miguel Foods, Universal Robina Corporation, Dizon Group of Companies, KLT Fruits, Mayani, and Magnolia shared ways and strategies for how farmers and fishers can market their produce. LGU and Farmers’ Cooperative and Associations (FCA) representatives, F2C2 clusters, and non-government organizations also talked about their achievements, experiences, and best practices in clustering and consolidation.

The Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) Program was established under Administrative Order No. 27, Series of 2020, signed on August 8, 2020. It aims to support and promote clustering and consolidation in the Banner Programs as a strategy to enhance the production and income of farmers and fishers. ### (Ira Y. Cruz, DA-AFID)