PHL, France discuss expanding agricultural cooperation

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THE Philippines and France have met to discuss programs to improve agricultural cooperation and trade, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a statement, the DA said that Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar met with French Ambassador Nicolas Galey on Monday.

“The two countries will continue to implement the Administrative Arrangement on Agricultural Cooperation, particularly in terms of capacity building for cooperatives, dairy, food safety, and intellectual property,” DA said.

The agreement aims to consolidate relations between France’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Philippines’ DA through stronger agricultural and technical cooperation in selected sectors and areas of common interest.

Mr. Dar noted his interest in France’s Clark-Rungis Wholesale Food Market as a possible model for attracting investment in agriculture.

The wholesale fresh-food market supplies Paris and is considered the largest wholesale food market in the world, with branches in Moscow, Dubai, and Kazakhstan. The market is operated and managed by French firm SEMMARIS.

In 2017, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) announced a partnership with SEMMARIS and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) to conduct a feasibility study on the development of an international food market in New Clark City in Tarlac.

Mr. Galey said that the Philippine has great potential to meet the demands of French consumers. He said that “the importance of agriculture in France can be seen through the Rungis International Market.”

The DA noted that in 2018, agricultural products exported to France amounted to $49.82 million. France’s agricultural exports to the Philippines totaled $132.73 million. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang