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Marcos: Private firm, MSME, farmer partnerships transforming agri industry

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday highlighted the importance of partnership between the private sector, MSMEs, and local farmers in achieving a competitive agriculture industry.

Marcos, who sits as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, attended the launch of the Kapatid Angat Lahat Agri Program (KALAP) held at the Malacañang Palace.

"We know very well how MSMEs are crucial in the creation of new ideas, of jobs, and wealth in the country, so it is only right that we recognize the power and the influence that this sector holds," Marcos said in his speech.

"We also recognize the role of big corporations in [innovating] MSMEs, spurring their growth, and realizing their potential. Hence, I am very happy to note the objective of the KALAP to integrate small farmers and agri-entrepreneurs into the value chain of large companies. This will enable farmers and MSMEs to become more productive, profitable, sustainable, and globally competitive," Marcos added.

The said program aims to foster the transformation of major agricultural commodities and industries and a conducive business environment in the Philippines.

KALAP aims to catalyze the partnership of big businesses, considered "big brothers," with smallholder farmers to enhance the prosperity of the latter.

It is expected to build a network of agri-preneurs who will work together and contribute to the local economy, create job opportunities, and reduce the poverty level.

Marcos thanked the Philippine Center of Entrepreneurship-Go Negosyo advocacy for its dedication to "fostering more productivity, profit, and sustainability in our local markets."

He also lauded Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion for his efforts "in bringing together these partnerships, bringing together these synergies in our economy especially to help our MSMEs and in the process strengthening our middle class."

"I have always said that in the difficulties that we are facing ahead, there is no sector of society that can manage the recovery by itself. And it cannot be done unless the different sectors of society are working together, working together and trying to implement a plan with a common understanding of what is needed to be done, with a common understanding of what people need, without forgetting every part of that sector or that area of the economy," he said.

Marcos also vowed that his administration would extend support to partnerships like this that will benefit Filipinos.

Meanwhile, Marcos met a 98-year-old coconut farmer in Malacañang as he expressed his government's commitment to step up efforts to support Filipino farmers.

The coconut farmer, Maman Buanoy Layom, is a beneficiary of Lionheart Farms, one of the firms in the Philippines helping small farmers. — DVM, GMA Integrated News