From L to R: DTI Undersecretary Mary Jean Pachecho, DA Chief of Staff Atty. Alvin John Balagbag, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, NIA Acting Chief Edward Guillen, NIA Senior Deputy Administrator Engr. Robert Suguitan

QUEZON CITY–Aligned with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s vision to ensure food security, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual, together with Department of Agriculture (DA) Chief of Staff Atty. Alvin John Balagbag, and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Acting Chief Eduardo Eddie Guillen, inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish cooperation measures in the development and implementation of the Integrated Rice Supply Chain Development Program on 02 February 2024.

“This strategic initiative supports the DTI’s Three-Year Food Logistics Agenda which focuses on safeguarding affordable and accessible food for all Filipinos. This collaboration among the DTI, DA, and NIA exemplifies our shared mission to bolster our agricultural sector,” said Secretary Pascual.

The Integrated Rice Supply Chain Development Program aims to streamline the rice supply chain from production to market, reduce logistics costs, increase farmers’ income, promote proper classification and branding of rice, and enhance domestic rice market competitiveness.

According to the DTI chief, through a whole-of-government approach, the pooling of resources and expertise will fortify the country’s agricultural sector. He added that this partnership will be significant in fostering economic resilience and ensuring that quality and affordable food remains accessible for every Filipino.

Further, Secretary Pascual stressed the vital role of the partnership, as the Department broadens its scope in linking farmers to institutional buyers by including rice in the agricultural products through the RicetoRisePH business-to-business (B2B) platform.

The RicetoRisePH targets to facilitate efficient transactions among farmers’ cooperatives, irrigators’ associations, LGUs, and institutional buyers. This platform is designed to enhance trade efficiency, reduce logistics costs, and ultimately make rice more affordable and accessible to consumers while ensuring stability for farmers.

Moreover, the RicetoRisePH B2B platform was built from the success of the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT) Fresh. This initiative is the Department’s B2B e-commerce project in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development – Strengthening Private Enterprise for the Digital Economy (USAID-SPEED) Project and the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT), utilizing InsightSCS’s Deliver-E platform to connect farmers with potential buyers.

“Under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., let us rise to the occasion and work together to build a more robust, more resilient agricultural sector for the benefit of Filipino farmers and consumers,” said Secretary Pascual. ♦

Date of release: 03 February 2024