Friday, May 17, 2013

Singapore eyes more agri imports from Philippines

Singapore wants to purchase more agricultural products from the Philippines given rising demand there.

Lam-Chan Lee Tiang, senior specialist of the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore said in a trade meeting at the sidelines of the 9th International Food Exhibition Philippines yesterday that while they have been importing food items from the Philippines, it still wants to get other fresh and processed products.

Given the Philippines’ available land and manpower, Department of Agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala said in the same event the country could provide food products to meet rising demand in Singapore.

“We are checking supply to ensure that it can be sustained,” he said.

Alun Zhou, managing director of trade firm 101 Fruits, said that while his company has been purchasing durian from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, he still intends to import the same products from the Philippines.

Alcala said Singapore buyers who are interested in importing upland vegetables are set to visit Baguio City.

The Singapore delegation is likewise going to Davao to see the farms there.

Aside from fresh fruits and vegetables, Alcala said Singapore also wants processed food.

He said the government is working on improving the packaging of food products.

He also said government would try to ensure available supply for exports.

Incentives, he added, may also be given  to local farmers or exporters.

Philippine commercial counsellor Glenn Penaranda  noted that Philippine food imports of Singapore are currently valued at $100 million.

Lim Xiu Qing Joyce, executive manager of overseas food supply of AVA, said there is room for Philippine imports to Singapore to grow as vegetables only make up about seven percent of total shipments.

Fruits, meanwhile, comprise about one percent of Philippine shipments to Singapore.-The Philippine Star

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