LEGAZPI CITY—More than 160 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), returnees and their families participated in the Agribusiness Investment Forum conducted by the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) and the Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc. on July 9-11, 2019 in one of the hotels here.

The forum is aimed at encouraging our Bicolano OFWs and returnees to engage or invest on agribusiness especially on rice, cacao, bee production, herbs and spices, mushroom and goat raising; present various agro-enterprise packages and options for private investors and OFWs; promote and encourage different organizations corporations to participate in agribusiness investment; and facilitate the linking and matching of private individuals/ entities including OFWs, as investors to available investment packages being offered by private organizations/ corporations, cooperatives, NGO, farmer and fisherfolk organizations.

According to OIC-Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla, this forum will give OFWs a platform where they can invest their money and let it grow through farming.

He added that agribusiness is a viable and sustainable investment and that DA is ready with its support and interventions.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-5) Regional Executive Director Sam Madrid said that the hard work and sacrifices of the OFWs abroad are meant for the realization of their dreams for their family.

He added that “these dreams will be strongly supported by the Departments of Education (DepEd), OWWA, Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DA, Science and Technology (DOST), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)”.

Aside from the different topics on Agribusiness Opportunities in different agricultural commodities, the forum tackled the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Agricultural Insurance Programs, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Credit Programs for OFWs and Investment Matching. Speakers include Edgar Pesebre (Rice-based Farming System); Edison Petalio (Cacao production); Celso Espinola (Bee Production and Processing); Rossini Obligacion (Herbs and Spices); Pedro Oliver (Mushroom Production); Basil Caning (Mushroom Entrepreneurship); Dr. Boying Llorin (Goat Raising); NEDA-5 Assistant Regional Director  Cha Berces (Migration and Development; Regional Manager Frankie Armena (PCIC); and Emmalyn Guinto (ACPC). (jaysonmgonzales)