The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is increasingly concerned about the state of the agricultural sector which has realized modest growths during the last five years. Poverty in rural areas, mainly represented by the plight of farmers and fishermen, has made their children and the youth in the countryside decide to shift or consider non-farming courses or livelihood. With such mindset of the young and the fact that the average age of farmers is 57 years, agricultural growth is seriously threatened. The situation may further be aggravated by the rapid annual population growth of 1.92% (PSA) that may result to a food shortage in the next 15 years. Additionally, being an import-dependent country, food security is highly vulnerable to market shocks.
Insufficient and ineffective policies, programs and trade agreements hamper investments into the agricultural sector which is an essential condition for inclusive growth. Apart from this, the Philippines is among several countries most seriously affected by climate change which has seriously affected agricultural productivity.
ECCP intends to assist overcome the upcoming threats by drawing attention to the aforementioned concerns through the Smart Agriculture Forum. The event intends to address food security concerns, recommend strategies to achieve sustainable agriculture and inclusive growth. It is recognized that better and more effective solutions can be achieved if the Public and Private sectors effectively establish a collaborative partnership. The Forum will bring together all of the relevant agriculture stakeholders to discuss plans, programs, and present innovative solutions. Furthermore, the forum will strengthen the importance of investing in research and development to achieve quality and greater productivity. It is necessary that both sectors are encouraged to invest into agriculture in order to achieve self-sufficiency and economic competitiveness.
ECCP has been advocating for a significant reduction in poverty. For the longest time, the farmers and fishermen have remained poor in the rural areas, thereby discouraging their children to remain in agriculture. The Chamber recognizes the need to empower farmers and fishermen. Innovative technologies and seeds as well as efficient and effective value supply chains must be implemented to improve productivity and economies of scale. Through innovations in agriculture it is expected for agricultural output to be natural disaster resilient.
The event would be very timely for the new administration to present their plans and programs. Furthermore, the event will provide meaningful and fruitful discussions with the new administration concerning improved policy measures and programs, recommend innovative products and solutions that would enhance productivity, insulate the agricultural sector from possible market shocks resulting from the ASEAN integration, and empowerment of farmers and fishermen. The event intends to identify areas of a collaborative partnership between the private and public sectors in solving food security concerns and consequently achieve inclusive growth.
Smart Agriculture Forum 2016 convenes a multi-sectoral dialogue among stakeholders of the agricultural sector in addressing food security concerns and possible market shocks of ASEAN integration by improving government programs and the use of innovative agricultural products, solutions, and systems highlighted at the exhibition.
- Conference through panel discussions with key agriculture sector stakeholders to share plans, programs, innovative solutions, and best practices hopefully to work for a common action
- Exhibition to showcase innovative products, solutions and systems aimed to improved productivity of agricultural crops, livestock, and fisheries segments.
- Technical presentations to share innovative products, solutions, and systems applied to agricultural crops, livestock and fisheries.
- Business to business networking meetings to facilitate business cooperation, opportunities and partnerships among housing stakeholders
- To strengthen the consciousness of investing in research and development to achieve the greatest crop yield, quality and production in the midst of the changing environment and ecological conditions.
- To develop policy measures that would insulate the agricultural sector from possible market shocks resulting from the ASEAN integration.
- To learn about innovative solutions and technologies intended to increase and sustain agricultural production in the midst of a fast growing population.
TARGET AUDIENCE AND PARTICIPANTS
We are expecting 300 delegates from the government key agriculture agencies headed by the Department of Agriculture and sub-agencies such as Bureaus of the Animal Industry, Plant Industry, Agriculture and Fishery Standards, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Agricultural Research, Soils and Water Management, local government units with farming and fisheries communities, non-government organizations, academic and research institutions, private companies providing agricultural inputs, equipment and financial support, and international organizations.