An industry-academic alliance for sustainable agriculture & food exports was signed between BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY PHILIPPINES (BatStateU) and SOURCETRACE, along with FBFP/PCCI, Lipa/Ecop Batangas, in an MOU on November 13, 2020, to foster the dynamic collaboration in technological innovation and entrepreneurship for Sustainable Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Food processing; through an SEZ(KIST Park) of Batangas State University.
Batangas State University was represented by Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, President, and Dr. Albert Amante, Vice-President. SourceTrace USA was represented by its’ Philippines and ASEAN Representative Mr. Arvind Kumar TJ, SourceTrace’s Philippine partner, Farmers Bazaar Fintech Philippines Inc.(FBFP) was represented by Mr. Crisanto S. Gualberto II, Chairman of the board and Dr. Benjamin Quinones (ex- Agricultural Economist of the Central Bank of Philippines & Secretary-General of Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association(APRACA/FAO). The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry(PCCI), Lipa/Ecop, Batangas, was represented by its Chairman Mr. Ting Caedo.
Dr. Tirso Ronquillo addressed the formal signing of MoU that BatStateU KIST Park is a first of its’ kind and designated by H.E. President Rodrigo Duterte as a special economic zone(PEZA), following the recommendation from the Department of Trade and Industry. The aim to create a space for tech start-ups and facilitate the transfer of university know-how to locator companies. PEZA-registered enterprises will tremendously benefit from the high-value intellectual capital and physical resources of the University.
Dr. Benjamin Quinones said, this MOU will create history, and could not have been timed better as the Philippines is already signing the RCEP(The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). This RCEP is a 15-country Asia-Pacific mega-trade deal and is expected to expand and open up new markets for the Philippine agricultural products like Coconut, Banana, Pineapple, mangoes, seafood, shrimps, etc., which requires proven, competitive technology solutions, such as provenance and supply chain traceability offerings from SourceTrace.
Quoting from an earlier e-conference between SourceTrace and FBFP, attended by Filipino Agri coop leaders, including the AgriCoopPH and AgriTerra, the largest Federation of Philippine Agri-cooperatives, Dr. Benjamin Quinones stated, ‘Filipino companies in the Agri-Fisheries sector must be prepared for the RCEP-era, where Traceability is the future, to robust food safety’.
Crisanto S. Gualberto II(FBFP) said that Mobile-based, ‘Farm-to-market’ and ‘All under one roof’ digital solutions by SourceTrace would aid smallholder Filipino farmers and fisherfolk to improve their livelihood and income, particularly the Coconut farmers and Coconut Industry in Batangas.
Arvind Kumar TJ acknowledges that SourceTrace’s ‘DATAGREEN’ Aquaculture Solution tracks the entire value chain from source to retail, even in remote low bandwidth environments, and would be truly a game-changer for the Philippine Shrimp export industry pegged at US$600 Million.
Ting Caedo, PCCI, said this academic-industry partnership MOU has the potential to make KIST the Center of Traceability technology in the Philippines, which would attract more investments from domestic and international food companies.
The MOU signing event was graced and witnessed by the prominent leaders, representing the Batangas society, Educational Institution, NGOs, Fisheries, Tourism, as well as International Insurance industry, Mr. Nelson Terrible, Proponent, Save Lake Taal Movement( Sagip Taal), Mrs. Cecille Terrible, Owner of Balai Isabel Resort Complex, Hon. Paquito Lirio, former Mayor and Chairman of Batangas Forum, Mr. Rodrigo Cacao, President, Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance Inc. (TLAAI), Mr.Peter Capitostos, President of Taal Lake Yacht Club, Engr. Mario Balazon, Director of TLAAI, Capt.Mannie Barradas, President. UPCAFSAA, Engr. Nestor Natanauan, Director of TLAAI, Dr. Albert Amante, Vice-President of Batangas State University.
This strategic Industry-Academic alliance will augment Sustainable Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Food processing in the Philippines, ensuring a more transparent and digital ecosystem for the food industry.
Today, at SourceTrace we’re happy to share our moment of pride and fulfillment, having made it as the cover story in the Food and Beverage Tech Review.
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