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A total of Php 2.2 Million in sales was earned by seventy six (76) micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) from agrarian reform communities in Central Luzon during the recent CARP Regional Trade Fair. The fair with the theme “Tangkilikin, Likha ng ARBS ng Central Luzon,” was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III (DTI-3) from November 13 to 16, 2017 at the Robinsons Starmills in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga

The opening program was attended by Butil Party List representative Cecilia Leonila Chavez, DTI-3 Regional Director Judith P. Angeles, DAR-3 Regional Director Judita Tungol, PIA-3 Regional Director William Beltran, CARP OIC Program Manager/ARD Joel Valera, provincial agrarian officers and officials from the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Agriculture. Emma Lea Belmonte, Manager of Robinsons Land Corporation, emphasized the willingness of their company to support activities like the CARP Regional Trade Fair, which help in forging meaningful partnerships with the government.

Director Angeles stressed the importance of supporting CARP assisted MSMEs who get their raw materials for their products from the Agrarian Reform Communities of the region. Director Valera cited the accomplishments of the CARP programs nationwide. He noted that providing exposure for the products derived from agrarian communities will help in achieving inclusive growth and that this helps in improving the economy in the countryside.

During the fair, awards were given to the Top Seller (Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts of Pampanga), Most Innovative Products (Mila’s Driftwood of Aurora province) and Best In Product Display (Kabuhayan ng mga Kabarangay tungo sa Tagumpay of Pampanga).

Products sold during the fair include coconut, driftwood and sabutan based products from Aurora, cashew, coffee and bamboo products from Bataan, processed meat, fish and dairy products, as well as bread products from Bulacan and soya, waterlily and bags and accessories from Nueva Ecija. Pampanga CARP trade fair participants brought delicacies, corn products, organic fertilizer and vegetables while Tarlac entrepreneurs sold potato wine, ylang-ylang perfume, peanut butter and calamansi products. Zambales participants displayed mango products, cashew and bignay wine, banana chips and bamboo based handicrafts.

The DTI supports the livelihood component of the agrarian reform program by providing livelihood skills training and entrepreneurial and marketing support through exposure of CARP beneficiaries’ products in trade fairs and market matching.♦

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