PHL focuses facilitating MSMEs in food processing, agribusiness

By Kris M. Crismundo

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo Sept 20 (PNA) — The Philippine government aims to facilitate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in food processing and agribusiness to achieve inclusive growth.

The Philippines’ Head of Delegation for 22nd Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) SME Ministerial Meeting Jerry T. Clavesillas said the government should make interventions in helping MSMEs in food processing and agribusiness sectors to participate in the global value chain.

Clavesillas, who is also the executive director for Bureau of MSME Development under the Department of Trade and Industry, made the statement during a press conference here for the 22nd APEC SME Ministerial Meeting with the theme, “Mainstreaming MSMEs in the Global Economy”.

“Why focus on food processing? Because more than 60 percent of our MSMEs are in the processed food [business],” he mentioned.

“We have already been impacting about 60 percent of the total MSMEs in the country including their workers, and other dependents of this particular sector,” he added.

Since the Philippines is an “agriculture economy”, according to Clavesillas, MSMEs in agribusiness should be provided with assistance for them to comply with the global standards.

“There are so many things that they have to comply with now the market is becoming more selective. For agriculture products now, the preference of the market is organic productions,” he mentioned.

“These are the things you also have to be aware of. Just a little intervention in your production process can already increase a lot in terms of the value of your product,” he added.

Clavesillas stressed that facilitating MSMEs for them to meet the global market’s requirement will empower more MSMEs to participate in the global value chain and help the country to achieve inclusive growth.

The 22nd APEC SME Ministerial Meeting will be held at the Iloilo Convention Center which was recently inaugurated by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Among the sub-themes of APEC SME Ministers will include promoting inclusive growth through sustainable and resilient MSMEs; advancing modernization and standards and conformance of MSMEs; and removing barriers to facilitate MSMEs entry to markets.

In line with the SME Ministerial Meeting, the Philippine government will also be holding workshops for MSMEs in sectors of food processing, agribusiness, and handicrafts to help them understand and meet trends in the global market. (PNA)