Project findings of the value chain development for underutilized fruits project were recently presented in the Philippine Association for Agriculturists’ (PAA) 2021 Summit and 1st International Virtual Congress held on February 18-20, 2021.
The said project, “Rapid Market Appraisal Towards Value Chain Development for Underutilized Fruits in the Philippines (RMA Fruits),” is being implemented by the Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The summit, with the theme “Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce for Agriculture 4.0 Amidst Disruptions: A Framework for Action,” aimed to give participants the opportunity to share research findings and best practices where the academe, industry, and government jointly extend to farmers and entrepreneurs the knowledge learned in the agriculture and food sector. The RMA Fruits project team was presented by Ian Bernard M. Ines, Annette M. Tobias and Rocel Antonnete M. Peñamora of SERD.
During the poster presentation, Ines discussed the key findings of the study including problems and obstacles faced by farmer-producers of underutilized fruits (e.g., guava, soursop, sugar apple, and tamarind), supply chain analyses, and their market potential. The main challenges found for the identified underutilized fruits include the absence of updated crop statistics and limited market outlets.
Ines also presented possible smart approaches to address the identified challenges including development of an organized system of crop statistics and selling of produce using digital platforms like oneSTore, Agri Runner, and Facebook, all of which have become a trend during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RMA Fruits Project poster during the exhibit of PAA’s 1st Virtual Congress can be accessed in this link: http://bit.ly/RMAfruitsposter.
Meanwhile, Tobias and Peñamora answered audience’s query focused on marketing strategies, policy recommendations, potentials, and role of the government in industry development of the four underutilized fruits. Other participants gave insights and recommendations that are deemed helpful in achieving the project objectives, such as establishment of the demand of any product/technology before introducing interventions to farmers. Likewise discussed was the vital role of local government units (LGUs) to aid in the marketing of underutilized fruits as a conduit for the proposed intervention.
The RMA Fruits project is implemented under the leadership of SERD Director, Dr. Ernesto O. Brown with project team members – Princess Alma B. Ani, Annette M. Tobias, Ian Bernard M, Ines, Rocel Peñamora, Tessa Lyrene DC. Lantican, Paula Mari M. Legaspi, and Colleene Ivie L. Lanzador.
The Summit and Virtual Congress were participated by more than 1,000 participants. Also part of the highlights of the activity were cross-cutting technologies, human and organizational capabilities, and competencies associated with Agriculture 4.0, Education 4.0, and the 4th Industrial Revolution.