Business dev’t initiative to support MSMEs, farmers launched

The government has launched a PHP4.7-billion value chain-based and market-driven business development initiative that aims to provide business and technology support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and farmers.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) project will support 1,000 MSMEs to level-up their business models, provide better packaging of products, and become more innovative of agriculture products.

Lopez said the government is working toward the “agri-industry integration” to ensure that local farmers have better income, better productivity, better yield in their production, and better output that will support the requirements of the MSME sector.

“Because these are guys that will be able to export or supply to the domestic market in a big way to create a bigger requirement, a bigger demand for agriculture produce,” he noted.

The trade chief also stressed that the RAPID project is market-driven.

“Everything that is produced in the value chain, what will be planted, coffee, cacao, coconut, fruit nuts, will have the demand, will have the market that will be processed by the MSMEs,” he said.

Lopez further said the agriculture sector will also be supported through technology, seeds, and those to improve its productivity.

“And soon their income, that’s the bottom line. We’re excited to talk about this project because this is not just in paper, there will be actual support to the agriculture farmers, as to the tools, implements, but at the same time, making sure that productivity goes up, income goes up, and on the SME side, improving also their business models,” he added.

Lopez said the RAPID project involves increasing rural income and solving poverty, which are the key objectives of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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