Leading Agricultural Cooperatives in the Philippines rally behind plan to drive growth, competitiveness and sustainability in the agriculture sector
PHILIPPINES - Agriterra announces the virtual launch of the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agenda (ACDA) on February 24, 2021, to be led by some of the country’s largest and most influential agricultural cooperatives. The ACDA aims to support the creation of an enabling policy and business environment to strengthen the position of agri-coops in the value chain, the market, and with government and the private sector.
Incubated under the Generating Rural Opportunities by Working with Cooperatives (GROW-Coop) project funded by USAID and implemented by Agriterra, the development of ACDA is a collective effort by agricultural cooperatives to lobby for policies, programs and services that will address long-standing issues in agriculture.
GROW-Coop Chief of Party and Agriterra Business Advisor Jun Virola says:
“While the GROW-Coop project focuses on building the capacities of agricultural cooperatives, the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agenda aims to ensure that sound policies and programs that respond to the needs and interests of farmers and agricultural cooperatives are in place. These include enabling their access to capital, markets, technologies and services that will enhance their growth, competitiveness and sustainability.”
Three cooperatives are leading the development of the ACDA: AgriCooPh Federation (AgriCooPh) Federation of Peoples’ Sustainable Development Cooperative (FPSDC), and Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC). Meanwhile, a Technical Working Group is being formed composed of representatives from the agricultural cooperative sector, academe, civil society, and regional and international agricultural networks and organizations.
Driven by agricultural cooperatives themselves, the ACDA will be the product of a comprehensive, bottom-up consultation process within the sector, supported by research and dialogues with government bodies, financing institutions, private sector, and civil society organizations. The process will come up with evidenced-based solutions to address agricultural issues and remove barriers towards agricultural cooperative development.
“The final agenda will be presented to government and other stakeholders to serve as a policy framework which can help develop or improve programs and services for agricultural cooperatives. It can also guide the private sector, financing institutions, and donor agencies in engaging agricultural cooperatives,” Virola adds.
Providing the welcome remarks to the virtual launching of the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agenda is SIDC Chief Executive Officer Hon. Rico B. Geron. Meanwhile, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Orlando Ravanera officially opens the event.
Delivering the keynote message to introduce the ACDA is Dr. Ciel Habito who served as former NEDA Secretary and is a faculty member at the Ateneo de Manila University. Dr. Habito discusses the role of agricultural cooperatives as key drivers to help speed up the recovery of the Philippine economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. William Dar is also invited to provide a message of support to the agricultural cooperative development agenda. Other organizations speaking at the launch are: Panaw-Sumilaw MPC, PAKISAMA, Philippine Cooperative Center, ICOPED UPLB, Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc., and Landbank Countryside Development Foundation, Inc.
The event expects to gather various stakeholders from the agricultural cooperative sector, government, business groups, donor agencies, and civil society who have inherent interests in the ACDA and its planned reforms.
For more information about the event, please contact:
Agriterra Business Advisor
Facebook: Agriterra Philippines