The ASEAN Agriculture Summit 2017

TWO weeks ago, the Philippines, as part of its hosting of the 50th ASEAN Anniversary, held the ASEAN Agriculture Summit 2017 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The theme for the Summit was “Agripreneurship: Uplifting Lives Towards Prosperity for All”.

Agripreneur is, of course, a play on Agriculture and Entrepreneur. Where entrepreneurship is involved, trust that Joey Concepcion, the GO NEGOSYO founder and presidential adviser on Entrepreneurship, won’t be far behind. 

Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. vice president Dr. Rolando Dy, Senator Cynthia Villar and former Agriculture secretary & Inang Lupa Foundation president Dr. William Dar.

Indeed, this Summit is but another feather in Joey’s cap, and with the sheer number of feathers that Joey has accumulated, so to speak, that cap is starting to look like the headdress of an American Indian chieftain. 

Uplifting lives towards prosperity for all is not just anchored on the Asean thrust, but also on the economic development and poverty reduction agenda of the Duterte administration.

The Summit is “a first step forward to bring together and mobilize key ecosystem stakeholders into crafting and actualizing an integrated framework for Agripreneurship as integral to prosperous Philippine agriculture.” 

ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) chairman Joey Concepcion
From left are: Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar (Go Negosyo adviser for Agripreneurship), Dato’ Dzulfilki ADB Wahab (FELDA, Technoplant Sdn Bhd. - Malaysia), ASEAN BAC chairman Joey Concepcion, Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech), DoST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, Dr. Hengky Novarianto (Indonesia Palm Crops Research Institute), Karen Davila (moderator) and Winston Uy (Universal Leaf Philippines).

According to the ASEAN Summit website, the summit “will focus on informing, inspiring and connecting Asean Agri-Ecosystem Stakeholders toward adopting and supporting the modernization and Industrialization of agriculture thru Agripreneurship as a sustainable strategy for poverty alleviation, growth, rural development.“

Aside from Joey Concepcion, who also chairs the Asean Business Advisory Council, other keynote speakers include Senator Cynthia Villar, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and a known advocate for the sector; Dr. William Dar, President of the Inang Lupa Foundation, who once served with me in the Estrada administration as Agriculture Secretary and presidential adviser on Rural Development; and, of course, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, a true-blooded Mindanaoan who once served as Governor and Representative of Cotabato province. 

From left are: Zulkarnain Bin Md. Eusope (FELCRA Berhad-Malaysia), Saran Song (Amru Rice-Cambodia) Alex Buenaventura (Land Bank-Philippines) and Pablito Sandoval (Active Batangas Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative ).
From left are: Quintin Pastrana, Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, Gigi Gatti (Grameen Foundation USA),  Dante Delima (ATISCO Philippines),  Undersectary Ariel Cayanan (Department of Agriculture),  Joey Concepcion, Representative  Arthur Yap and Oudet Souvannavong (Greater Mekong Sub-Region Business Council).

Secretary Piñol is optimistic on the overall performance of agriculture this year. He expects the local farm sector to grow by 6.2 percent due to improved crop output, a far cry from last year’s 1.4 percent agri output which was wrought by extreme weather conditions. 

Agripreneurship is in good hands with Joey Concepcion and Manny Piñol at the helm. Both men are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get down and dirty. With their hands, of course. 

I wish them all the best.

Topics: Mike Toledo , ASEAN Agriculture Summit 2017
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