It has been 26 years since the first Agrilink opened and since then, the undisputed leader in agribusiness exhibition has evolved and continues to cope with the changing times. It gets better and tries to be more relevant as the agricultural world grapples with various changes in the agricultural climate. Every year, the people behind Agrilink deliver the best showcase of products, information, technologies, market linkages and promotions to the whole agribusiness community and the general public. This year, another extravaganza is offered to the agribusiness community as Agrilink 26 unveils a lot of innovation from the farms, to the factories—all the way to the markets!
Last year’s theme was, “Efficient Value Chain in the Hog Industry: A Must for Continued Growth,” with special focus on Region 3, the leading producer of hogs in the country. The theme hammered the point that a competitive, efficient value chain is critical in ensuring that quality products reach the final consumer in a cost effective manner. The farm-to-fork chain begins with inputs of the hog raisers, most of whom are backyard producers traveling along the entire production, processing, and marketing links, In between are the key links in the entire value chain such as feed millers, animal health providers, abattoirs, cutting floors, processors, the cold chain and retailers of pork and pork products.
Aside from hogs, other regional crops were highlighted like rice, high value crops such as coffee, sheep, marine and aquaculture products, etc.
A total of 480 companies exhibited occupying 655 indoor, retail and outdoor booths or an indoor exhibit area of 8,300 square meters for the Main Exhibition, 3,000 square meters for the Retail Area and 4,000 sqms in the outdoor exhibit. While most were local companies, there were also 63 companies occupying 54 booths or 435 sqm for foreign companies from 13 countries led by Korea, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Denmark, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, United Kingdom and Turkey, South Africa, Italy and Malaysia
There were also Seven (7) Indoor Pavilions: the Korea Pavilion and China Pavilion, Phil. Seed Industry Association Pavilion and BFAR Pavilion at the main exhibit area and PHILFOODEX , AANI and OPTA Pavilions in the retail area.
The Korean Pavilion was organized by the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Coop. (KAMICO) and Fit Corea in the Philippines, while the China Pavilion was organized by Beijing Sun Rising Exhibition on their 2nd year participation as exclusive agent in China, Hongkong, Macau and Taiwan and the Phil. Seed Industry Association organized a Seed Pavilion from among their members.
For many years now, experts around the world have been sending a strong and serious message—that the impact of climate change on agriculture and the implications for food security are already alarming. FAO has recently released a statement saying that with the continuous messing up of the weather, there is now an urgent need to support smallholders in adapting to climate change and that farmers and fishermen will require far greater access to technologies, markets, information and credit to adapt their systems and practices to climate change. Region 8, covering the entire Eastern Visayas, has been one of the major casualties of the effects of climate change to agriculture. Who would ever forget the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan (local name “Yolanda”), and how it wrought havoc to the region in 2013? Said to be the strongest typhoon ever recorded in history, it affected some 14.1 million people and caused more than US$700 million in damage to the agriculture sector, severely threatening the Philippines’ food security.
Region 8 covers the entire EasternVisayas which consists of three main islands: Samar, Leyte and Biliran. It has six provinces, one independent city and one highly urbanized city namely, Biliran, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc and Tacloban. Eastern Visayas is one of the top coconut-producing regions in the country with 615,926 hectares planted to the crop and producing 1.08 million nuts every year.According to the Philippine Coconut Authority, from 2013 until 2015, typhoon Yolanda’s impact destroyed 33 million coconut trees — nearly half of which were totally damaged. Two years later, the Philippine News Agency reported that the coconut industry in the region is now on the road to recovery with a harvest of 1.085 billion nuts in 2017, which is 1.38 percent higher than the 1.075 billion nuts yield a year earlier. The government is now trying to integrate the concept of Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) to the coconut industry to sustainably increase productivity of the coconut trees and utilizable areas between the trees. There are CRA technology practices like the use of stress tolerant varieties, integrated crop management, and development of other regional crops like rice, sweet potato, gabi, and abaca, all of which help mitigate the economic impact to farmers of adverse climate. Agriculture experts think this is a must for the coconut industry as a whole and especially for Region 8.