BDA conducts product development training for local enterprise groups 

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) through Program for Local Economic Development through Enlightened Governance and Grassroots Empowerment (PLEDGE) conducted Product Development Training for community-based enterprise development organizations on October 8-9, 2016 at Davao City.

In an interview with the lead trainer Domingo S. Cruz, Jr., Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao Oriental, he stressed the importance of added value to products “so it will stand out in the market.”

“For food items, appropriate packaging and labelling are important for those will speak for the product itself,” he explained. The resource person said producers may create new design for new products or enhance the design for the existing items being produced.

“Foreign buyers now look for jewellery box, soap case, bread box and other novelties made of indigenous materials,” he hinted.

BDA-PLEDGE Coordinator Julhaina Cadon related the program has been catering 42 organizations from the six regions of which 20 are under food category and 22 for non-food.

She said the beneficiaries have undergone trainings such as entrepreneurial, record keeping, and marketing.  Cadon further related the program facilitated local study tour that exposes the beneficiaries to successful producers that have already carved a niche in the market.

“We brought them to Apo ni Lola, a producer durian by-products, Davao City Pasalubong Center, and Philippine Women’s College to see the machineries and equipment for food preservation,” she said.

PLEDGE beneficiaries are now producing processed banana, Moro traditional delicacies, cassava chips, bread and pastries, processed fish and agar-agar products. Among the non-food items they produce include bamboo furniture and crafts, garments and agri-support facilities.

The program is the economic and livelihood component of Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF). It is supported by various development partners such as the European Union; the Swedish International Development Agency; the Australian Embassy in the Philippines; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada; the United States Agency for International Development; the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the World Bank, which also serves as the Trust Fund Secretariat.

The primary objective of PLEDGE is to contribute to confidence and peace building efforts through local economic development and sustainable livelihood creation in conflict affected areas in Mindanao. (Info source: BDA)