The Department of Agriculture (DA) and its allied agencies will be holding free seminars,technical workshops and demos, as well as investment forum and business-to-business (B2B)matching activities at the country’s premier trade exhibit on agriculture,food,and aquaculture-Agrilink, Foodlink,and Aqualink 2019 from October 3 to 5 at the World Trade Center,Pasay City.

On Octobér3,the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) will conduct a seminar on organic agriculture, particularly on standards,regulations, and best practices that farmers should adopt.On the same day, the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will be holding a workshop on production and processing of mushroom,which is seen as a viable source of livelihood given its high market demand.ATI’s seminar will discuss substrate production (which involves gathering the bulk material where the mushrooms can grow), preparation of planting media, proper care of fruiting bags, and harvesting techniques. Fresh mushrooms can be processed as dried mushrooms,chips,chicharon,chutney powder, and other value-added food products.

ATI’s resource speaker is Emma V. Tolentino from Victoria,Tarlac,who owns the Eco Natural Integrated Farm, which is a certified learning site of ATI. Tolentino has expertise on mushroom production and processing,organic agriculture, and urban gardening.

On October 4, the DA will be holding an agri-entrepreneurship seminar,which aims to spur farmers,fisherfolk, and interested individuals into investing and setting up their own agribusinesses.One of the resource speakers,

Dodong Cacanando,founder and president of the Semilya sa Kinabuhi Foundation, will discuss their association’s success stories, as well as the character and values they learned to improve their business acumen. Albay-based HML Food Corporation, which produces food products native in the Bicol region, will also be among the resource speakers and will share how its agribusiness became successful.

Meanwhile,the DA’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) will showcase its latest technologies in mechanization programs, especially on rice farming.Among those that they will demonstrate are technologies on multi-fuel biomass furnace that they are currently commercializing.The multi-fuel biomass furnace optimizes the use of mechanical dryers because it uses rice hull and corn cobs as fuel. It can provide the heat source for mechanical dryers, sufficient enough to dry grains from 30 percent to 14 percent moisture content in six to eight hours. It is equipped with temperature controller and an automatic feeder.

On the same day, the DA will also have information dissemination activities aimed at promoting the agency’s extension and support services, particularly its lending and crop insurance programs that farmers and fisherfolk can avail of. These include the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund(ACEF) lending program, which aims to provide the necessary credit to farmers and fisherfolk and their cooperatives and associations, as well as micro and small-scale enterprises, in order for them to acquire and set up production, postharvest, and processing machineries, equipment, facilities, and farm inputs.

In line with the event’s theme, the Philippine Coconut Authority will also hold a seminar on October 5 and discuss business opportunities in coconut, particularly on agribusinesses in activated carbon and copra products. The DA will also have an investment forum on coffee processing and production. Coffee is regarded as a promising commodity in the country, and the seminar aims to show how value-adding activities can help tackle issues in the sector’s supply chain, and how engaging in coffee production can be a lucrative agribusiness.

Aside from the free seminars,Agrilink 2019 will also feature local and international agricultural products, live animals (except hogs) and plants display, as well as other special activities that will underscore the most up-to-date and groundbreaking inputs and technologies. For free seminar participation, textor call(0917)588-8799 or email Visitors can also pre-register their attendance through or its official Facebook

Published in Manila Bulletin