September 12, 2023
MANILA – The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) on Thursday urged the country to have a sustainable agriculture sector to meet the rising food demand amid the growing population.
During the Sustainable Agriculture Forum at Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City, ECCP president Paulo Duarte said innovating the agriculture sector will ensure food security and preserve the ecosystems for the future generations.
“Sustainability is not a solitary endeavor but a collaborative journey shared with farmers, policymakers, industry leaders, academe, and consumers alike,” he said.
He added stakeholders’ partnership is vital in leveraging collective knowledge towards agricultural practices that regenerate the land, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote biodiversity while fostering economic profitability, and ensuring that all people have access to adequate and affordable food.
Duarte cited data from the United Nations indicating that global demand for food production by 2050 will surge by 70 percent as world’s population will grow by 2 billion to 9.2 billion.
“All of this unfolds against a backdrop of limited natural resources, making the call for sustainable agricultural practices louder and clearer than ever before,” he said.
Duarte also underscored the need to seek solutions to address the growing issue of food inflation and accelerate food security.
“At the Chamber, we remain steadfast in our efforts to collaborate with stakeholders across the agri-food value chain to foster a sustainable and robust agriculture sector,” he said.
Duarte cited one of ECCP’s projects in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) - the Bangsamoro Agri-Enterprise Program Creating Responsible, Sustainable and Competitive Enterprises in the BARMM agribusiness sector (BARMM CRESCENT).
The project creates a strategic framework in agribusiness that champions responsibility, sustainability and competitiveness.
“Our collective aim is to empower BARMM's agri-enterprises to transform into entities that are not only investment-ready but also prepared for international export markets,” he said.
Duarte also called on companies to partner with the ECCP in this project in BARMM.