ALABEL, Sarangani, (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Sarangani provincial office is pushing among local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) engaged in food processing its Integrated Product and Market Development Project (i-PMDP), an enhanced business development program.
Processed food cluster is one of the prioritized sub-sectors under DTI’s industry clustering strategy.
Engr. Nenita Barroso, DTI provincial director, said i-PMPD seeks to increase and sustain the supply of exportable-quality processed products of the province by identifying and harmonizing a common product and market development intervention and assistance between diverse sectors of the processed food industry.
Barrosa said, the project is one of the provincial initiatives of DTI to help local entrepreneurs prepare for the ASEAN integration.
This move to regional economic cooperation will largely benefit the entrepreneurs of Sarangani placed in a strategic area near to Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, among others, she said.
The DTI provincial director likewise emphasized in her presentation that processed food products from Sarangani have so much potential in the ASEAN Market.
As such, adhering to standards for preparation, handling, and manufacturing is necessary prior to the entry of these products in the international market.
Under the i-PMDP, DTI would assist local entrepreneurs in positioning themselves and their businesses to move up to the levels of development in the export-pathways, she said.
One of the strategies of the project is to refer the submitted products of project enrollees to a certified food technologist for business and product diagnosis and capacity training.
Submission for nutrient fact study to Food and Nutrient Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology and preparation to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) New Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) for FDA-LTO (Licensed-to-operate) accreditation are also part of the project activities.
The project has a five-stage phases that will run for six months (February to July) where project enrollees will begin on-boarding until they graduate from the program.
Abigail May Garcia, a certified food technologist, encouraged local food processors to proactively participate in the program. She promised to provide one-on-one consultancy session with associations.
On March 9, DTI-Sarangani will sign a memorandum of understanding with 15 pre-assessed MSMEs who will go through the program. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with report from Sarangani Information Office)