Agri exporters set sights on Russia
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has organized a trade mission to Russia to find buyers for the country’s coconut oil, bananas and shrimps, among other agricultural commodities, in the latest bid to tap an unexplored market.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on his Facebook page that Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev visited his office earlier this week to finalize the agreements, which included the visit of the Philippine delegation to Moscow later this month.
The visit will include the signing of an implementing agreement spelling out the specific areas of engagements between the two nations, including the development of agriculture and aquaculture in the Bangsamoro area.
The agreement is based on a MOA signed during the state visit of President Duterte to Moscow in 2017. Following the visit, an agriculture cooperation agreement was signed between the DA and Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture for the latter to buy up to $2.5 billion worth of Philippine agricultural products.
This dwarfs the $46 million worth of exports the Philippines currently ships to Russia every year.
Piñol said the Philippines was interested in importing fertilizers, wheat and modern farm machinery from Russia, while Russia was interested in importing coconut products, bananas and seafood.
The trade delegation will include representatives from the coconut, banana and mango industries and the fisheries sector.
According to the secretary, the trade mission was prompted by the low prices of coconut oil in the world market. Hence, the need for the agency to find new markets as the supply glut of copra continued to hurt local farmers.