THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) aims to tap the unexplored markets of Russia for possible export of coconut oil, banana and shrimps, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Friday.
“With three fisheries companies already exporting their products to the Russian Federation, the Philippines is now working on the marketing of more agricultural products to the vast market, including coconut oil, bananas, shrimps and others,” Mr. Piñol said in a Facebook post.
“The DA is now organizing a trade mission which would include stakeholders of the agriculture and fisheries sector of the country to further penetrate the huge and previously unexplored market of Russia and other member countries of the Russian Federation,” he added.
Earlier, Mr. Piñol said a group of businessmen from Russia is interested to grow bananas in Camp Abubakar with an investment amount of P8 billion. The project is expected to employ about 10,000 workers composed of former rebels and their children.
The DA is set to send a delegation to Moscow, Russia in late February to have an agreement signed between Mr. Piñol and Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev to spell out specific areas of engagements between the two countries, which includes the interest of Russian business groups to develop agriculture and aquaculture in the Bangsamoro region.
Mr. Piñol has met with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev to finalize the arrangements on the planned visit of the local DA delegation to Russia, which will include farmer organizations from the coconut, banana, mango and fisheries sectors.
“The planning of the trade mission was primarily prompted by the efforts of the DA to find new markets for its coconut products in the face of very low prices of coco oil in the world market,” the official said.
Mr. Piñol added that he expressed to Mr. Khovaev the interest of the Philippines to import fertilizers, wheat and modern farm machinery from Russia and member states of the Russian Federation. — R.J.N. Ignacio