03 June 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala concluded his four-day trade mission to South Korea from May 25 to 29 to push for the entry of Philippine agricultural products to the Korean market.
Leading an official delegation from the Philippine Department of Agriculture, Secretary Alcala met with Minister Lee Dong-phil, his counterpart from the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, on May 26 and introduced more Philippine fruits and vegetables to be supplied by Philippines exporters in addition to the bananas, mangoes and pineapples which are now enjoying the largest market share in South Korea.
Earlier, South Korea gave the thumbs-up for fresh chicken meat to enter South Korea. Major importers of fresh duck meat who were also very pleased to know that there are Philippine duck growers who are now ready to supply the affluent Korean market.
“Because the Philippines is free from avian flu virus, we are able to export duck meat to nearby Japan which has very high standards for import. Why not to Korea?” Secretary Alcala remarked. Initial discussions were also made for export of corn silage as feed for the high-breed cattle stock of a livestock cooperative located 250 kilometers from the capital.
Together with high level officials from the Korea Food Research Institute, the Korea Rural Development Administration, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the delegation discussed a win-win business model for the Korean investors, the farmers, the local government units which will finally give a boost to the fledgling Multi-Industry Cluster (MIC) project which aims to promote rural development in the Philippines.
An Investment Seminar on Agribusiness Opportunities was presented by the delegation to 50 members of the Filipino community in Daegu Metropolitan City on May 27. Ten (10) lucky participants from the Daegu Filipino community were awarded free investment start-up package to start their own goat and sheep growing business in their hometown in the Philippines. Investments seminars on agribusiness will now be regularly conducted by the Department of Agriculture as part of the Overseas Filipinos Reintegration Program of the Department of Labor and Employment.
At the end of the visit on May 29, Secretary Alcala expresses his appreciation to Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Raul Hernandez for the assistance provided by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul in arranging the meetings and vowed to work closely with the Embassy to pursue the deliverables produced during the visit. “Agricultural cooperation should be a major highlight of Philippine-Korea relationship. We are eager to partner with the Philippine Department of Agriculture in order to optimize our agriculture cooperation agreement with South Korea and ultimately achieve inclusive economic growth in the Philippine countryside,” replied Ambassador Hernandez. END