The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is once again spearheading the BAHANDI Eastern Visayas Trade Fair on 10-13 June 2019 at the Robinsons Place Mall, Marasbaras, Tacloban City.

As the month marks the celebration of the 121st Independence Day Anniversary and the various festivals in the region, the trade fair will showcase the culture and creativity of Eastern Visayas manifested in the array of processed food, wearables and homestyle products that will be exhibited and sold by the producer-exhibitors. These products have been enhanced through product and packaging development and branding assistance of DTI.

The conduct of BAHANDI aims to promote and generate sales for products of Region 8 MSMEs, in anticipation of the increased presence of buyers in Tacloban City due to numerous celebrations and holidays in June. The month-long celebration of the local fiesta annually attracts droves of balikbayans, tourists, performers, vendors, merchandizers, and other visitors.

There are 58 producer-exhibitors who will be participating and bringing local products from the six provinces of the region. Some products include binagol, suman, pili nuts and hopia, beef tinapa, keseo, langka seed butter, bahalina nga tuba, turmeric, calamansi concentrate, hand-woven bags, wood furniture, and shell crafts.

Last year, the trade fair generated more than a million sales with 36 exhibitors. Almost double the number now in 2019, they are expected to generate PH 1.5 M total sales.

This event will also pave way for the launching of the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project.

The project is designed to promote business partnerships between SMEs and farmers, complemented with investments that facilitate the access of farming households and SMEs to diversified business support and financial services; and improve access to production areas through the rehabilitation of roads and bridges. Its pilot phase covers industry clusters of Leyte, Southern Leyte and Northern Samar.

DTI recognizes both the relatively weak performance of the agriculture sector and the increasing opportunities in rural MSMEs engaged in agricultural processing and value addition. With the RAPID Growth Project, DTI is seeking to expand its role in strengthening rural value chains and promoting agro-enterprises by providing facilitation services, leveraging its Negosyo Center (NC) networks, development of the industry clusters and increased market access through marketing activities such as this BAHANDI Trade Fair.♦

Date of release: 11 June 2019