DAVAO CITY’s business chamber has offered to work with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to plan for improved farm logistics.

John Carlo B. Tria, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII), said the association will be initiating discussions with the two departments after Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar’s announcement Friday that the construction of farm-to-market roads, especially in conflict-affected areas, will be among the top priorities this year.

“(W)e are open to dialogue… to help build strong logistics networks and infrastructure such as cold storage facilities, which will help farmers and consumers. Having better logistics helps farmers by minimizing the volatility in prices since excess produce need not go to waste or drive down prices as they can be stored,” Mr. Tria said in a statement late Tuesday.

Asked to comment, Mr. Tria said setting up a good logistics network can be fast-tracked through private-public partnerships.

He said improvements in the supply chain are particularly important in Mindanao given that it provides “about 40% of the country’s food supply, and where prices of commodities are often lower than the rest of the country.”

“This will allow food to get to consumers quickly and cheaply.”

Mr. Tria also said that a stable food supply will have a positive impact on other sectors such as tourism.

“If food prices go up, so will the cost of eating in restaurants and tourism establishments, which may make them less competitive,” he said. — Carmelito Q. Francisco