DA-ARMM holds Halal Business Forum in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 May 2014 14:09

LAMITAN CITY, Basilan – The agriculture department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) agriculture gathered some entrepreneurs, business establishments, restaurant owners and all those in the food industry, including some government agencies, for the Halal Business Forum held here recently.

Dr. Surhayda T. Aguisanda, provincial veterinarian and concurrent ROS superintendent for Halal Industry in Basilan, said that the billion dollar potential of Halal Industry remains untapped in the ARMM region.

“The Philippines has a halal market of 8 million Muslims or 10% of the Philippine population, bigger than all other Asian countries except for Malaysia and Indonesia. And ARMM is thickly populated with Muslim communities at 3.8 million or 97% of total ARMM population,” she explained.

She added that the Muslim population around the globe accounts for 1.8 billion, or about one-fourth of the world’s population.

“It is estimated, therefore, that the market value of Halal food for Muslims could reach as high as $150,000-200,000 million with a possibility of increasing to $500,000 million,” she said.

Dr. Aguisanda further revealed that a study had showed that most of the Muslim countries, especially those in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia are the main importers of food and agricultural products from the developed countries such as the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, North America (exclusively USA and Canada) and some developing countries, such as Brazil, India, and China.

“It is obvious that those significant suppliers of food products for Muslim countries are non-Muslim, thus the claim from some developing Muslim countries about the advantage of being a Muslim country may not prove to be true as an effective marketing strategy in this case,” she noted.

She challenged the participants who are in food production and processing that the key success in Halal market must be the strength of the manufacturing standard of the country. And that these suppliers of food products to Muslim countries should create an image of high standard in manufacturing and safety, as well as the aptness to Islamic laws.

The Halal Business Forum was held last April 10 at the FITS Center of Sta. Clara Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative Inc. in Sta. Clara, this city.

During the forum Dr. Norodin A. Kuit of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and ARMM Halal Program Focal Person led the participants to understanding the different aspects of the Halal Industry and the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.

Kuit said that with the ASEAN integration, the more ARMM must fast track the development of the Halal Industry and appealed for local government unit’s support to the industry.

“There is no 100 percent Halal products in the Philippines, thus this calls for more efforts to achieve the goal,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sherwin Kasim, vice-chairman of the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board Inc. provincial committee explained the certification process of the Board.

In his closing remarks, Eugene B. Strong, OIC-Provincial Agricultural Officer of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries-ARMM challenged the provincial government of Basilan to develop a roadmap of the Halal Industry in Basilan that will provide food security and halal (a healthy way of living).