By Carina L. Cayon of PIA
DAVAO City–The Department of Trade and Industry in the region is set to hold the Philippine Rubber Industry Market Encounter (PRIME) in a bid to position Mindanao as a hub of rubber processing.
The PRIME slated on November 10-11 this year at SMX Lanang, Davao City is expected to gather more than 700 participants from the sectors of rubber growers, manufacturers and producers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
DTI Davao City Director Edwin Banquerigo said they are also hoping for foreign delegations to join the event, especially from Thailand where the biggest rubber production is and Malaysia which has the best manufacturing technology.
Banquerigo said the market encounter hopes to draw P1.5 billion in investments and P1 billion from potential sales and transactions from the rubber industry in Mindanao.
He raised the importance of PRIME in promoting the industry among rubber players to improve productivity and quality.
The DTI official believed that the country could match up Thailand’s annual production of 1.8 metric tons per hectare. Philippines is only producing 0.7 metric tons per hectare yearly.
Banquerigo said the country needs to expand rubber production and improve quality to get premium prices.
He also suggested for a more value adding investments.
From the 2014 production of over 450,000 metric tons, six per cent increase in the productivity is targeted per year starting 2015 until 2020.
“We would like to hit production of 1.9 metric tons per hectare by 2020,” Banquerigo stated.
He said as of last year, the country has a total area of 217,000 hectares planted to rubbers, mostly found in Mindanao.
Zamboanga Peninsula leads the most production followed by Soccsksargen area, North Cotabato and Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Banquerigo said they are pushing Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga and ARMM as processing areas.
He added that one of the potential markets is the Yokohama Tires based in Subic, which produces 21,000 of tires daily. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)
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