by: DARINE L. TUPAZ, CDS II
“Malaki po ang naitulong sa amin ng Trade Fair sa tulong ng CDA at DTI sapagkat dito po kami nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na mai-promote ang aming mga produkto sa mga institutional buyers tulad ng KRIZ Food Store sa Naga City. Binigyan po nila kami ng space o physical store to display our products at nagkaroon kami ng sure buyer na makakatulong upang tumaas ang kita ng kooperatiba. Namotivate din po kami na maging eager na ipakilala ang mga maliliit na entrepreneur sa adhikain nilang umasenso. Salamat at binigyan kami ng halaga kahit kami ay coconut farmers lamang. Nabago ang mindset naming ngayon dahil mas nabigyan kami ng sigla at direksyon na maging responsible upang mas makatulong sa pagpapalago ng kominidad at ng ating ekonomiya.” shared by Ms. Cristy B. Sambajon, Treasurer of Bicolandia Organic Coco Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (BOCOFAC), a cooperative engaged in the production and marketing of coconut-based products like coco wattle, coco fiber, coco fiber pole, coco rope, coco twine, coco chips, coco peat, and coco ladders. Said cooperative has also utilized Shopee under the name Bicolandia Organica for them to promote and sell their products.
NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Camarines Sur has successfully staged its last run of Trade Fairs for 2023 known as “Feria de Camarines featuring UMA Usbong”, an event which was conducted from October 4 to 8, 2023, at the Atrium, Robinson’s Place, Naga City.
Feria de Camarines serves as a platform to celebrate and promote the rich heritage of Camarines Sur’s culture and artistry by showcasing exceptional food products and crafts made by the DTI-Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) assisted local manufacturers and artisans in Camarines Sur.
Twelve (12) Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organization (ARBOs) had participated in the said event, namely: Danawin Agrarian Reform Cooperative (DARCO), Divino Rostro Upland Farmers Association, Inc. (DRUFA, Inc), Labawon Agrarian Reform Upland Farmers Association (LARUFA), Lirag Agrarian Reform Farmer Beneficiaries Cooperative (LARFBCO), Malawag Nabua Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers Association (MNARBFA), Matalisay Libmanan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Inc. (MLARBA, Inc), Masaganang Buhay Farmers and Agrarian Reform Association, Inc. (MBFARBA,Inc), San Agustin/San Ramon Agrarian Reform Farmers’ Cooperative (SARFC), San Antonio Farmers Irrigators Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SAFIMCO), Pecuaria Development Cooperative (PDC), San Miguel Agrarian Reform Association (SAMARA), and Sto. Niño Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SNMPC).Aside from the ARBOs that had participated, eight (8) Feria de Camarines Exhibitors from the government sector namely: Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Camarines Sur 1 & 2, and the Department of Labor and Employment Camarines Sur Provincial Office (DOLE-CamSur) had showcased their craftmanship and treasured food products.
In his message to the exhibitors, Provincial Director Jay Percival S. Ablan of DTI Camarines Sur, emphasized the crucial role of the agriculture sector in pioneering the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). He added that the raw materials provided by various hardworking farmers and farmer organizations are significant to the creation and marketing of finished crafts and products from which the MSMEs can gain sustainable source of income.
Moreover, PD Ablan challenged all the participants from various non-government organizations (NGOs), People’s organizations (POs) and other government institutions to buy and support local products and redirect their purchasing habits toward the consumption of locally manufactured products to help local farmers and entrepreneurs and to boost the local economy. He also reminded the exhibitors and entrepreneurs to maximize their participation in trade fairs as a perfect opportunity to establish linkages and network with institutional buyers to generate secured partnerships in increasing their profit and avoid being too dependent on trade fairs for their products to get recognized and promoted.
In support to the activity, CDA Region V Extension Office had attended the opening ceremony on the afternoon of October 4, 2023, through the participation of the Acting Supervising Cooperative Development Specialist (CDS) of the said office, Engr. Zaldy G. Bermejo.
Other CDA personnel who took part in the Feria de Camarines especially in manning the booth, and in disseminating relevant information regarding CDA’s mandate and current engagements were: Engr. Zaldy G. Bermejo, Darine L. Tupaz, Joshua Nayles, Larry Villaluz, and May Celestine Nery. The two (2) booths provided by DTI Cam Sur was utilized effectively by CDA Region V, where its roll-up tarpaulin, flyers, and brochures containing its services and programs were put in place to guide the public on CDA’s mandates, programs, projects, and activities. The same booth provides accommodation for five (5) days to La Purisima Pakili Agriculture Cooperative, Farmland Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Bicolandia Organic Coco Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (BOCOFAC) in the promotion and marketing of their cooperative products.Feria de Camarines not only provided a platform to promote, showcase, and market products but also facilitated networking opportunities and business connections for farmers and cooperative entrepreneurs. It created a reunion of strong collaboration and support where exhibitors, farmer-entrepreneurs, and advocates of food security and healthy community shared their entrepreneurial journey, exchanged insights, and forged meaningful partnerships.
This environment of camaraderie and cooperation allowed our local entrepreneurs to expand their network and gain exposure, thereby enhancing the growth and sustainability of their own business enterprises. It may sound a cliché, but DTI’s Feria de Camarines featuring UMA Usbong proved to be a resounding success. The Trade Fair has sparked enthusiasm of continued growth for the remarkable contributions of farmers’ organizations and cooperatives in the local economy of the Region.
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