Agri-10 focuses on the invaluable contribution of farmer- and fisher-producers in its Filipino Food Month celebration kickoff.


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Recognizing local and national cuisine as important elements of Filipino heritage, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-10) through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) formally launched the Filipino Food Month (FFM) celebration in Northern Mindanao, on April 8, at the agency compound, in this city.

By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 469, series of 2018, the DA is joined by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Department of Tourism – Philippines in cooperation with the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement in a monthlong celebration of local and national culinary traditions that fosters a renewed appreciation for Filipino culture.

Consistent with this year’s theme, “Kalutong Filipino, Lakas ng Kabataang Makabago”, DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado said that the celebration does not only recognize the contribution of local farmers and fisherfolk in food production, but also invites the youth, particularly young farmers, to participate in nurturing our culinary heritage and achieving national food security.

In a special talk, Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association Vice-president and professional chef Cathy Dano underscored the invaluable role of farmers and fisherfolk and their efforts to bring fresh, local ingredients and produce, thereby taking part in shaping regional and local culinary favorites.

She also expressed optimism in the adoption of emerging technologies and agricultural processes to revitalize food production such as vertical farming, hydroponics and aquaponics, natural farming, integrated farming systems, and the use of precision farming to complement existing production practices.

“Let us continue to explore, savor, and share the flavors of Filipino cuisine, ensuring that our culinary heritage thrives for generations to come,” Dano said.

Capping off the commencement activity, DA Undersecretary for Operations Engr. Roger V. Navarro enjoined DA personnel to join and support the current administration in its programs, especially on digital transformation and mechanization, to empower local farmers and transform the agri-fishery industry for enhanced food production.

In line with the monthlong celebration, DA-10 through AMAD is set to conduct various activities at the agency compound, including talks on consumer awareness (April 15) and anti-illegal real estate practices (April 22); FFM 2024 Trade Fair (April 15 to 16); and a division-wide Adobo cooking competition (April 30).

DA-10 is also set to showcase local food processors and producers in the 16th Philippine Food Expo on April 12 to 14 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, and the FFM 2024 Fair on April 26 to 28 dubbed ‘Ang Sarap: Philippine Food Festival’ at the SM Megatrade Hall 1, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.# (GDA)