AN EXECUTIVE of Damosa Land, Inc. (DLI) said developing agro-industrial economic zones in Mindanao can help open opportunities to those who are in agriculture, especially the farmers.

Ricardo Lagdameo, DLI first vice president, said the establishment of agro-industrial zones is viable in Mindanao considering that one of the biggest drivers of the island’s economy is agriculture.

According to Board Resolution 07-232 of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), an agro-industrial economic zone “shall be planned and designed to have support facilities and services required for processing and agro-based manufacturing activities, utilizing local agricultural and marine products as basic raw materials.”

During his talk at the Davao Investment Conference (Icon) 2019 on June 20 at the SMX Convention Center, Lagdameo said Mindanao, being the food basket of the Philippines, largely produces 40 percent of the country’s food needs and more than 30 percent of the national food trade. This is the seat of major export products such as banana, coconut, rubber, gold and silver.

“Mindanao is number one in a lot of agriculture products such as bananas, coconut, cacao and rubber in the entire Philippines. This means that we have a lot of potential for the success of this industry, especially that it creates a lot of diverse job opportunities,” he said.

Lagdameo said by putting up agro-industrial economic zones will “give opportunities for farmers to market their produce.”

However, he also pointed out that agro-industrial zones are not necessarily about food or food-processing operations. It may also involve other locators that are indirectly related to agriculture.

For example, he said the 63-hectare Anflo Industrial Estate (AIE), a Peza-accredited economic zone in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, has non-agriculture locators.

Among the locators of Anflo Industrial Estate are producers of agro-industrial products such as pallets and plastic packaging products. Packwell, one of the most recent companies to sign-off a deal to locate a manufacturing plant in AIE, is one of Japan’s leading producers of high quality paper packaging products for products such as Godiva, a renowned chocolatier in the world. The most recent addition to AIE’s locators is the Chinese company Davao Zhenzhi Plastics Corp. which produces plastic packaging products for fresh produce.

Anflo Industrial Estate, developed and operated by DLI, accommodates agro-industrial and light-manufacturing companies.

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