The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is tapping the Filipino communities in America in marketing Mindanao products to the US markets.
“We have to identify potential MinDA coordinating officers based in Los Angeles who are willing to represent the interest of Mindanao, as well as to promote our products in various trade and business activities there,” said Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, chair of MinDA.
Piñol made the statement in a press release after meeting last January 16 with the group of Fernandico Gonong Jr., president of Davao Association USA (DAUSA) and Filipino-American Communities in Los Angeles (FACLA) who told him that Filipino communities in the US are large consumers of Filipino products considering that Los Angeles has about 500 Filipino associations.
“We have the largest concentration of Filipinos in the US and this ‘bayanihan’ or networking for Mindanao products is really promising,” said Gonong.
Gonong also added that there is a need to establish a strong e-business platform and house-to-house delivery in order for the plan to take off.
With this in mind, Piñol ordered the International Relations and Investment Promotions team of MinDA to start preparing for the implementation of the plan.
The team is set to coordinate with the Department of Trade and Industry to establish the necessary steps particularly in shipping frozen bangus, durian, and tablea to the US market.
Piñol earlier said there is a need to tap into other markets that would need Mindanao products as this could empower local farmers and increase their incomes.
He said that there is a need for new markets that will welcome Mindanao products at a premium price.
In a related development, Philippine Consul General to Los Angeles Adelio Angelito S. Cruz appealed to the Filipino-American communities in LA in December last year to patronize Mindanao agricultural products.
MinDA has also been working with US companies to coordinate with local raw material producers in Mindanao so that they can have marketing agreements.
Late last year, the agency accepted a 25-ton donation of sorghum planting materials from a seeds producer in in Houston, Texas that would arrive next month and would be planted in Davao del Norte.
Piñol earlier said the crop will also be among those that would be grown in other Mindanao areas, including those under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.