Uniting Forces for Agricultural Resilience
From September 28 to October 4, the United States government embarked on its pioneering Agricultural Technology Trade Mission to the Philippines. This mission, facilitated by the U.S. Commercial Service, had a clear aim: to foster trade and investment prospects while reinforcing the resilience of the Philippine agricultural supply chain.
Bridging Innovation and Agriculture
This groundbreaking mission featured participation from nine American companies and one U.S. state university. Collectively, they showcased cutting-edge agricultural technologies, encompassing precision agriculture, digital farming, genetics, postharvest infrastructure, irrigation, farm mechanization, agricultural chemicals, IT-enabled services for agriculture, and animal feeds.
Notable U.S. trade mission participants included industry giants such as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Aviagen Inc., Cargill, John Deere, PepsiCo, Sukup Manufacturing, Valmont Industries, Veea Inc., Viasat, and Northwest Missouri State University.
A Partnership for Prosperity
U.S. Ambassador MaryKay Carlson underscored the significance of agricultural cooperation between the United States and the Philippines. She stated,
“Agricultural Technology Trade Mission injects innovation into this relationship, vastly expanding opportunities for Filipino farmers by connecting them to U.S. technology solutions.”
The Ambassador highlighted the substantial contributions these companies already make to Philippine food security and the growing agriculture partnership.
Strengthening Commitments through Collaboration
In collaboration with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), the trade mission actively engaged with regional and local business councils, Philippine companies, and government agencies. These interactions played a pivotal role in solidifying the shared commitments of both nations to promote food security.
Furthermore, the mission held fruitful discussions with key entities, including the National Food Authority, the Department of Finance, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
Nurturing Regional Ties in Davao
During their visit to Davao from September 28 to 30, the trade mission engaged with government leaders from Davao City, led by Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain Jr., representatives from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), local industry players, and business associations. The discussions centered on the importance of collaboration in achieving food security and bolstering the Philippine agriculture industry, particularly in BARMM.
A Focus on High-Value Crops
In their Manila visit from October 2 to 4, the trade mission met with Department of Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban to explore collaborations aimed at improving high-value crops, such as rice and corn, in the Philippines.
Paving the Way for Advanced Farming Practices
U.S. Embassy Senior Commercial Officer Paul Taylor highlighted the mission’s comprehensive focus on agriculture technology. He explained,
“Agriculture is the foundation of our global economy. We believe the companies represented on this mission can help the Philippines fully take advantage of the next generation of advanced farming practices.”
A Mutually Beneficial Approach
BCIU Senior Program Officer for Agriculture Joseph Walters emphasized the importance of mutual benefit, stating,
“We are here to learn about new investment opportunities, explore how we can confront challenges together, and put forth a sound partnership between these companies and between the U.S. and Philippine governments.”
In 2022, U.S.-Philippine bilateral trade in agricultural products exceeded $4 billion, solidifying the Philippines as a Top 10 market for U.S. agricultural exports. Simultaneously, the United States is increasing its purchase of Philippine agricultural commodities, contributing to job creation in rural communities.