Agriculture - - From The Editor -

SOME 24 YEARS AGO, a group of com­mer­cial swine pro­duc­ers staged Piglink in Davao City. Most prob­a­bly, the or­ga­niz­ers did not ex­pect it to be­come a ma­jor agri­cul­tural trade show. But it did be­cause Piglink was the start of some­thing very big: the Agrilink trade show that we know to­day and which will be staged again on Oc­to­ber 15-17 at the World Trade Cen­ter in Pasay City. The Foun­da­tion for Re­source Link­age and De­vel­op­ment (FRLD), an NGO now headed by An­to­nio V. Ro­ces, brought the event to Manila to be­come an all-en­com­pass­ing agri­cul­tural trade expo, in­clud­ing food and fish­eries. One in­di­ca­tion that the event has be­come a great suc­cess is that the World Trade Cen­ter is be­com­ing too small for the expo. Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Ro­ces, he had to move it to the ad­ja­cent Philip­pine Trade Train­ing Cen­ter to ac­com­mo­date a group of ex­hibitors who wanted to join the event this year.

The an­nual event has be­come a great suc­cess through cre­ative strate­gies in at­tract­ing par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment sup­port. FRLD has been fo­cus­ing on ad­vo­ca­cies that could have an im­pact on agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment. One ex­am­ple that comes to mind was the One Town, One Prod­uct (OTOP) ad­vo­cacy that was, at one time, spe­cially show­cased in the Agrilink trade show.

In the 2015 edi­tion, Agrilink is high­light­ing the im­por­tance of agri­cul­tural mech­a­niza­tion. In these times when farm­ing has to be more ef­fi­cient and more com­pet­i­tive lo­cally and glob­ally, the way to go is agri­cul­tural mech­a­niza­tion. There are many good rea­sons why.

In the prov­inces, there are times when har­vest­ing has to be done fast be­cause of com­ing bad weather or for some other rea­sons. So what is needed is to harvest the crop pronto. For rice, for in­stance, if a strong typhoon is com­ing and the ripe grains have to be har­vested posthaste, the an­swer is a com­bine har­vester that will reap, thresh, and bag the grains in just one op­er­a­tion.

That is very pos­si­ble these days in some parts of the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly in Is­abela. In San Ma­teo, for in­stance, Baby Spowart op­er­ates a big rice farm. When we asked her if she has any prob­lem hir­ing farm work­ers to harvest her crop, she im­me­di­ately an­swered she has no

FRLD pres­i­dent An­to­nio V. Ro­ces (right) is briefed by An­to­nio Arcangel, an ex­hibitor, about the ad­van­tages of plant­ing sweet sorghum in ar­eas where wa­ter sup­ply is a prob­lem.

Taken dur­ing the open­ing of Agrilink last year. In front are Pepe Manto, Ricky Ru­bia, and Pol Ru­bia.

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