By Danny O. Calleja
With coconut as one of its major crops, Bicol expects to contribute more to the country’s dollar earners with the prospect of exporting Technomart commodities like coconut sap sugar to Hawaii, according to the regional office here of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The recently concluded 22nd Trade Mission to the Philippines conducted by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH) drew nearer more foreign merchants towards making local products under the government’s Technomart program available in that American state, Tomas Briñas, the DOST regional director for Bicol, over the week said.
Technomart’s coco sugar as well as banana chips caught the attention of the FCCH during the mission held at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center in Makati City, he said.
TechnoMart is a government program aimed at fast tracking the movement of science and technology (S&T) products from source to the markets, increase product value, establish and implement business match, synchronize strategies with other sectors involved and track the road towards commercialization.
Being pursued by Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the program serves as a modality that plots the direction of the agri-based products towards local and global markets.
The FCCH trade mission themed “Business opportunities in Hawaii — Leading the trend in renewable energy creation” and hosted by the PCAARRD held a workshop on business opportunities in Hawaii, particularly in the import-export of goods and products.
PCAARRD was able to showcase to the mission its assisted S&T products and presented them to a panel of prospective clients which also visited the One Stop Information Shop (OSIS) that displays all products supported by the Council, Briñas said.
Melody Calisay, a member of FCCH and head of the Honolulu-based East-West Marketing, Inc. expressed interest in importing Technomart’s coconut sap sugar or coco sugar and Bicol would be one of the main sources of this product, the DOST regional chief said.
Calisay, Briñas said would be holding negotiation talks with the PCAARRD regional partners for the initial shipment to Hawaii of this product.