“ASPIRE Trade Fair launched; sold 478K on its first Sunday at Session Road, Baguio City.”
To promote and provide an alternative market platform for interested farmers cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the region, the Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investments in Regional Exposition (ASPIRE) Trade Fair formally opened last Sunday, October 10, at Session Road, Baguio City.
Themed as “Exploring Potentials & Opportunities for Resilient Agribusiness Enterprise,” the Trade Fair formally opened with an Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Asteria Caberte, Department of Agriculture-CAR Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Danilo P. Daguio, DTI-CAR OIC-Regional Director Juliet P. Lucas, Baguio-Benguet Provincial Director Atty. Samuel Gallardo, and Baguio City Councillor and Committee on Market, Trade & Commerce Hon. Phillian Louise Weygan-Allan.
It was participated in by at least 50 FCAs and MSMEs who were able to sell a total of Php478,421.00 worth of agricultural food and non-food products, based on the DACAR’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division report.
Local products that were sold included good agricultural practices (GAP) and organic certified vegetables; rice; fruits; eggs; processed foods like jams, chili pastes, bread and pastries; handicrafts, and furniture, among others.
“The ASPIRE is a wonderful idea. It puts the aspiration of the farmers to greater heights and widens the opportunities of farming with the support of converging agencies,” remarked DTI-CAR OIC-Regional Director Lucas.
The ASPIRE enables the farmers to go into agribusiness or become agriprenuers which is not focused on production alone but on marketing as well.
The activity is also seen as a venue to link the participating groups to prospect buyers and/or investors to widen the agricultural industry.
Open every Sunday for the whole month of October, the Trade Fair is a convergence activity by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-CAR, DTICAR, Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Inc., and the City Government of Baguio who hosted this year’s ASPIRE.
DA-CAR RTD for Operations Dir. Daguio thanked the converging agencies for the realization of the ASPIRE this year and the agriculture as a whole enabling the region to survive and contribute to the nation’s food security. He further commended the farmers for their significant efforts in propelling the agriculture industry, particularly on food production despite the pandemic.
Hon. Phillian Louise Weygan-Allan further emphasized that the ASPIRE is purposely to make the economy going by supporting and promoting the farmers, the vendors, and the MSMEs. She recognized that a participatory government cannot work alone, rather, it has to work with its partners-the farmers, the vendors, among others.
Since October is also celebrated as Consumer ’s Month, the consumers are reminded to prioritize local products when buying. “Support local products. It is safer, traceable, and you do not have to go online,” said Dir. Lucas. She added that while doing so, everyone is also encouraged to intervene for the production of quality and safer products.
In closing, Dir. Lucas reiterated the importance of agriculture today and beyond through the quote, “Agriculture is enough to bring development in this agricultural country if we value the purpose of agriculture in our life.”