South Korean firms join Agrilink 2019
(The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Leading South Korean firms, through FitCoreaTrading Philippines, will join the country’s premier international trade exhibition on agriculture, food, and aquaculture, scheduled on Oct. 3 to 5.

This year’s  Agrilink, Foodlink and Aqualink will underscore the importance of a climate change-resilient agricultural industry in improving the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolks in Eastern Visayas.

 The event will also highlight coconuts, the region’s staple produce, while the regional focus will cover Biliran, Eastern and Northern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Samar.

FitCorea is the local representative of the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO), which comprises of South Korean farm machinery and equipment manufacturers.

Philip Kim, president of FitCorea  said, “FitCorea and KAMICO are actively engaged in uplifting the Philippines’ farming system through promotion of mechanization technologies.”

“For over a decade, Agrilink continues to be our ideal platform in establishing more direct market linkages between Filipino farmers and producers in need of increased productivity and quality in their products while also helping South Korean companies find their niche in the Philippine market,” he said.

Agrilink 2019 will feature a South Korean pavilion, which will showcase the latest innovations in agriculture — from food, postharvest, manufacturing, processing, engineering, machineries and equipment, cooling, heating and energy solutions, and marketing to water supply.

FitCorea supplies and distributes machineries used for plowing, cultivating, seeding, transplanting, harvesting, drying and milling. It also has post-harvest equipment such as mills, dryers, rotators and power harrows for crops such as rice, corn, onion and sugarcane.

It also supplies various machineries that include walking and riding transplanters and tractors, hydraulic rotavator for soil tilling, power seeder and weeder, combine harvester, and recirculating and multi-purpose dryers.

The South Korean pavilion in this year’s Agrilink reflects the growing bilateral trade and investment in the Philippines totaling $13.7 million last year, placing South Korea as the country’s fifth major trade partner.

Investments from South Korea have  so far reached $35.79 million, mainly injected into real estate and manufacturing.

Philippine agricultural exports include corn silage andanimal feedstock, fishery products and tropical fruits like bananas.

The Department of Agriculture recently signed a P28 billion agreement to export various Philippine fruits to South Korean supermarkets.

KAMICO, led by president Shin-gil Kim, also participates in the South Korean government’s development assistance and investment projects to the Philippines, through partnerships with the DA and other stakeholders. These include a farm equipment and machinery assembly plant that will be constructed on a 50-hectare area in Batangas.

The property will serve as a demonstration farm that will use locally fabricated and assembled farm machineries. It will also have training and research and development centers that will help improve the expertise of Filipino farmers and equipment operators.

Another is a $2.4 -million grant from South Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Korea Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service (EPIS). The grant was used for smart greenhouse projects that aim to boost production and competitiveness of smallholders and medium-scale farmers and broaden their access to export markets.

The solar-powered greenhouses can modernize and automate the supply chain, from setting the temperature to controlling amount of water or other inputs. The project was recently launched in Benguet and currently growing the Korean variety of cherry tomatoes, with plans to also grow potatoes and strawberries.

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