Farmer Leaders Study ASEAN
Economic Integration Impact
by James Earl E. Ogatis
The Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 briefed farmer leaders of the municipality of Belison, Antique on the impact of ASEAN Economic Integration comes 2015.
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which is the goal of regional economic integration envisions for a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.
Nicolasito S. Calawag, provincial agriculturist of Antique said that farmers should produce quality products not only for their family consumption but also for markets among 10 member ASEAN countries.
Calawag challenged the farmer leaders to embrace the ASEAN integration by being agri-entrepreneur in their respective fields and must focus on their competitive advantages.
He stressed that Antique which is 60 percent dependent on agriculture and fisheries has many natural resources to tap with in order to hug free flow of services and goods.
Dominador Marquez, agricultural program coordinating officer discussed DA 6 intervention on farm mechanization and post harvest facilities aimed to reduce cost of production and postharvest losses. He emphasized that agricultural stakeholders must be organized according to the commodities they are into for them to avail of DA’s intervention.
“Our advocacies on organic agriculture program are ways to prepare our farmers to produce quality, safe and healthy products intended to capture markets of our neighboring countries.” Marquez pointed out.
Some 150 participants composed of farmer leaders, committee chairperson on agriculture in the barangays, rural women, youths, livestock raisers and fisherfolks attended the forum. /MP