LEGAZPI CITY, July 27 -- Some 55 small and potential entrepreneurs engaged in gabi (Taro) and sili (Chili) farming from Iriga, Naga City, Ocampo, Sipocot, Pamplona, Goa, Tigaon and Nabua, all in the province of Camarines Sur, attended a one-day Investment Forum held recently at the Aljosh Café in Naga City.
The forum aimed to increase awareness about investment opportunities (both local and foreign) and strengthen a multi-sectoral network system for investment by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol.
Zaldy Castillo, president of Nabua Gabi Farmers Association, said on Thursday, like rice farming, with proper management and passion, there is also money in gabi-growing.
Castillo added that they are already delivering more than 1,000 kilos of gabi leaves weekly to Laguna and Metro Manila, particularly in Divisoria.
He said he is also overwhelmed by the DA support to their endeavor since gabi is included in the Top 3 priority commodities in the region.
"Bicol Express can’t be erased from the history of Bicol,” Harry Llaguno of HML Foods Corporation based in Daraga Albay said.
The investment forum served as an avenue for possible market linkages and information on the latest market demands.
The main topics discussed include: Status of Sili (labuyo) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on Gabi Plant Production.
The emergence of farmers' groups such as the Federation of Gabi and Sili Farmers Association in Albay and Nabua Gabi Farmers Association in Camarines Sur greatly contributed to the local and even global market.
Bicol Region is known for Bicol Express and Laing -- dishes which contain “sili”. (Connie Destura/PNA)