The present challenges of agri sector affects the production of food processing amid the ongoing support of Philippine govenment, Ferdinand Pio, corporate purchasing manager at KLT Fruits Inc., revealed.
Pio stated in a report in Business Mirror that statistics data showed during the recent agri forum in Calamba, Laguna that supply of local agri produce are decreasing.
Based on the report, “KLT Fruit is a fruit-processing company that processes tropical fruit purees”.
The said company struggles in meeting the demand of the customers from overseas.
Moreover, the decreasing number of processed food reflects on the present challenges that the agri sector is going through.
Pio enumerated the different challenges that the sector is currently facing.
Present challenges of agri-sector:
“Primarily, growers are getting old and retiring, and their children do not want to go into farming, which, by itself, presents a different set of challenges,” Pio said.
With this scenario, company is losing growers. Thus, supply falling.
Respectively, heightening competition from Vietnam is also a challenge, since the country has a strong production of fruits. Pio also said that if we compare our country to Vietnam, we don’t have much source.
Moreover, Pio recommends that farmers should learn to market as well. He encourges them to form association and cooperatives to make them stonger.
“If you are a solo farmer and you don’t know how to market your products, you will just be waiting for the trader. You won’t survive,” Pio explained.
“Food-processing firms sometimes find it hard to deal with farmers individually,” he said.
He identified that traders are essential in connecting the farmers to the processors.
Pio further explained his point that farmers are constrained financially and in terms of their logistical needs.
“Some farmers do not have the financial capacity to deliver from the farm to the plant nor the capacity to provide in bulk,” Pio said.
To solve this problem, Pio recommended to negotiate with cooperative or association leaders in delivering to us (processors).
Meanhile, Pio advise to establish buying station, where farmers and buyers can meet and negotiate easily.