The CARAGA region, composed of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Agusan Del Sur, is going global – again.
Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) OIC of the Service Business Department Doris Gacho said CARAGA has a lot of potentials in competing with other products in the international market.
With the international market shifting priorities from only-delicious to healthy-and-delicious consumption, CARAGA has not been contented with exporting its coconut sugar and seaweed to consumers.
“One of the sustained trends in the food sector would be for healthy products like camote chips and we are very capable of producing these,” said Gacho.
The produce is one of the region’s most popular agricultural crops, together with abaca, corn, rice, and banana, among others, and is apparently a hit for its medicinal effects in the form of chips.
“CARAGA is very promising in that a number of the products that it can offer can also compete with products abroad. Camote chips, for example, are really doing well,” she said.
Out of the US$65-M total export sales generated from the International Food Exhibit (IFEX), an annual trade fair at the World Trade Center, CARAGA contributed approximately US$1.5M worth of sales, quite a lot for a region that didn’t do well in the same exhibit in 2005.
The camote chips of Art Tribe Food and Crafts were a hit which had a good number of buyers from abroad.
A Japanese buyer, for example, expressed interest in coconut sugar and corn coffee produced by M.I. Noos Manufacturing and Sunrise Corn Coffee, respectively.