Courtesy of Department of Agriculture-Region 11.

DAVAO CITY – The Department of Agriculture in Davao Region (DA-11) has convened some 210 participants from Mindanao for a five-day Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) Program Mindanao-wide Cluster Summit in this city.

Abel James Monteagudo, DA-11 regional director, said Wednesday the Aug. 15-19 summit aims to help the small farmers and fisher folks build stronger linkages with their commodity markets.

Monteagudo noted that the DA and other government agencies find it easier and more cost-efficient and effective to deal with organized farmers through clustering.

‘It is easier to provide them with appropriate training and cutting-edge technologies, including farm inputs like seeds and fertilizers, and farm equipment and machinery,’ Monteagudo said in a statement.

He said the summit will also pave the way for the establishment of better access to sources of credit and financing, as well as formulate joint ventures of “big brother-small brother” partnership for the participants.

‘When you are organized, you become big and your voices become so loud for everybody to hear,’ Monteagudo said.

In a video message, Senator Cynthia Villar, committee chair on agriculture, said F2C2 intends to advance the conditions of small farmers and fishers by adapting the strategy of clustering and consolidation of their production and marketing activities.

"The program shall give priority to community production and processing that promotes better coordination, organized value-chain towards increased productivity as against the small stand-alone traditional farming and fishing practices,” Villar said. (PNA)