ANGELES CITY, Pampanga Feb. 23 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has entered into a joint venture to boost Northern Luzon’s agri-business industries through the implementation of “National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement (NICCEP)” on April.
The program shall enhance industries such as those of milkfish in Ilocos region, dairy for Cagayan Velley, coffee for Cordillera and bamboo for Central Luzon.
DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Development Group Merly Cruz explained, “The three-year NICCEP seeks to facilitate increase in the contribution of the selected priority industry clusters to the national economy particularly in terms of creation of jobs, development and strengthening of Small and Medium Enterprises, increase in value-adding, improvement in the business environment and reduction of extreme poverty.”
Cruz added, “Under the program, JICA will be financing Philippine-based and Japan-based trainings and workshops for Industry Cluster (IC) development managers and implementers and its beneficiaries. IC managers and implementers come from DTI, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Science and Technology and the academe.”
On the other hand, DTI shall allocate staff and office space to the Japanese experts who will be monitoring the implementation of the grant and provide counterpart financial aid.
NICCEP follows the value chain approach which is a sequence of related business activities from the provision of specific inputs for a particular product to primary production, processing, marketing and up to the final sale to consumers.
It links and coordinates input providers, producers, processors, traders and distributors of a particular product.
“Say for example, in the case of Central Luzon. NICCEP will serve as the platform for the convergence of bamboo stakeholders namely the planters, propagators, processors and manufacturers of engineered products and government agencies that will provide assistance to them. In this way, there will be holistic growth in the industry” Cruz stressed.
Industry clusters in the other areas of the archipelago are Wearables and Homestyles, Health and Wellness, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Tourism for Southern Luzon; Health and Wellness, ICT, Seaweeds, Tourism and Gifts, Decors and Housewares for Visayas; and Banana, Mining, Coconut, ICT, Seaweeds, Wood, Tourism and Mango for Mindanao. (WLB/CLJD-PIA3)