DA, DOT to push local food into int’l market to support farmers

DA, DOT to push local food into int’l market to support farmers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is working together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to introduce our local food to the international market.

“We are closely working with DOT and this is something that’s exciting especially for me because we believe that when you push tourism – food tourism is something that is very appealing especially to Filipinos ‘no. Like when we talk about food while having dinner. There are things that people remember when they travel. Of course, the scenery, the shopping – the food is one of them,” DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said during the Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo with host Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

According to Asec. Evangelista, there is a need to help our local farmers and producers when it comes to the branding of their local products.

“We have products that already reached the international market as a matter of fact. But again, the consistency is something that we have to work on and also the branding because once it reaches international market or even here in the local scene ‘no, we’d always want to one day associate that this is Benguet Coffee ‘di ba? There’s a certain ownership and we’re really pushing a product that our farmers will be proud of,” she said.

“So since raw materials, ingredients come from DA, the collaboration with the Department of Tourism is very important. So they have this program, they call it ‘Kain Na’ and we are part of that. We are very much supportive. I think when tourism really takes off, it’s a good thing for our farmers because that is another market for us,” she added.

Celebrate Filipino Cuisine, Traditions

Meanwhile, in the same program, Chef Jam Melchor of Slow Food Youth Network Philippines thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for declaring April of each year as Filipino Food Month to celebrate local cuisine and traditions.

“I have pushed for the government to recognize Philippine cuisine and gastronomy as a form of art and, thankfully in 2018, President Duterte signed Proclamation 469, which is the Filipino Food Month. So, every April, we are celebrating Filipino Food Month so that we can celebrate our food, our heirloom recipes, traditions, ingredients along with the culinary traditions na talagang dapat ipasa sa mga bawat generation na sumusunod. Most importantly, we have to love local and use local [I have pushed for the government to recognize Philippine cuisine and gastronomy as a form of art and, thankfully in 2018, President Duterte signed Proclamation 469, which is the Filipino Food Month. So, every April, we are celebrating Filipino Food Month so that we can celebrate our food, our heirloom recipes, traditions, ingredients along with the culinary traditions that we need to pass on to the next generation],” said Chef Melchor.

“Ark of Taste is a catalogue of foods or products that are at risk of becoming extinct or forgotten or being replaced by industrial food from another country or genetically not used anymore. We’re looking at agriculture biodiversity that links to a culture, that links to a cuisine that is based on our products. Without those products, you don’t have that cultural heritage, you don’t have that local farmer that’s connected to his culture that might have rituals or traditions of using that food,” said Slow Food Movement South East Asia and Pacific Regional Director Elena Aniere of.

Since 1986, the Slow Food Movement has evolved to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes strong connection to the planet, people, politics, and culture in each participating country. It is now a global movement with thousands of projects involving millions of people in over 160 countries. The Philippines has been continuously participating in the movement since 2012.

There are 62 items in the Ark of Taste listing of the Philippines, including indigenous food, fruits, vegetables, and delicacies that have connection to our cultural heritage and traditions in each region in the country.— Source: ptvnews.ph

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