Ecozone to be set up for Canadian food industry for exports

Published December 21, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)and Undertaking with the Department of Agriculture (DA), which serves as the commitment of the parties in order to facilitate the creation of Agro-industrial and Aquamarine economic zones in viable areas of the country.

PEZA also signed a Memorandum of Undertaking with Canadian company True North Farms, Inc. (TNFI) with the purpose to establish an initial of 50-hectare agro-industrial ecozones devoted solely for cacao production and exports of cacao products.

PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza signed the agreements respectively with DA Secretary William Dar, Mr. Jesus Jayme, the Managing Director of True North Farms, Inc., and officers of both DA-connected companies and Canadian firms such as EnEco WTF Pacific, Inc. and Silver Valley Farms (SVF). The said agreements establish partnership for programs to industrialize and revolutionize ecozones in the country.

According to Plaza, “the MOA and MOU signing is important as PEZA now embark in revolutionizing its programs.” She explained that “the landmark signing is significant as PEZA seeks to promote domestic enterprises to encourage them to maximize domestic production, manufacturing, and export capability of the Filipinos and, thereby, lessen the import-dependence of the country.”

She added that “the partnership with other government agencies and industries is necessary especially with the implementation of Administrative Order No. 18, which aims to accelerate rural progress through robust development of special economic zones in the countryside.”

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Secretary also shared that “DA and PEZA share the same goal to improve farm income and generate work opportunities for farmers, fishermen, and other rural workers. Both DA and PEZA recognize the need for cooperative effort in promoting and supporting investments to agricultural-oriented activities through the granting of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and development of agro-industrial, aquamarine, and agro-forestry special ecozones.”

“This is now the time to bring investors to hubs where they can set up rural industries that will unlock the potential of agriculture and agribusiness for the country,” noted the DA secretary.

Moreover, Dar explained that “PEZA, in general, is God-sent for me because it will translate one of the paradigms I wanted DA to really undertake. Agro-industrialization is needed if we really want to give opportunities for small farmers and fishers.”

Dar also noted that “agro-industrialization is a way forward and PEZA will be an important partner to make it possible.” He added that “he has always believed in the small brother-big brother concept in implementing inclusive agri-business strategy.” With this, Plaza ensures that “there will be opportunities for everybody to participate so that everyone can contribute in making the country productive.”

 
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