THE SUCCESS THAT IS AGRILINK
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.