Gensan, Zambo tuna industry clusters unite to arrest woes PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:51

Stiff global competition and low supply of tuna are among the concerns the General Santos and Zamboanga tuna industry cluster teams are trying to arrest.

“Tuna fishing has been banned in many traditional fishing areas of the Pacific, so the supply of tuna has become (limited). This is something we have to deal with,” Nazrullah Manzur, regional director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Western Mindanao said during the Mindanao-wide planning workshop held here during the week spearheaded by the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP).

A joint project of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and DTI with supports from government agencies and local government units (LGUs), NICCEP gathered together stakeholders of tuna and seaweed industries from Zamboanga and General Santos to organize industry cluster teams.

JICA consultant Tetsuo Inooka impressed on the workshop participants that “industry clusters need to focus on their markets to guide them on what to do in complying with the demands for quality and quantity in the marketplace.”

For his part, Manzur said that “the only way we can deal effectively with our problems is to unite and work together, discuss and seek solutions to these problems.”

Abdulraman Shalimar, head of the Federation of Fishing Association, shared Manzur’s views saying “this is good for all of us, we need to work together as a team.”

He said that we can find better solutions to the problems facing our fishing industry if both the private and the government sectors will work together.
Meanwhile,Bench Tacumba, executive director of the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GSCCI), presented the industry cluster team’s inputs during the NICCEP workshop.

He said that the huge global demand for fresh tuna, canned tuna, dried seaweeds and carrageenan (processed seaweeds in powder form) has made it imperative for all stakeholders to come together and share their visions and plans for the future.

“We’re facing a lot of competition for our products in the global markets, so we need to get together as industry clusters to confront these problems,” he stressed.

He said that the rising demand for tuna products, dried seaweeds and carrageenan in Europe, US, Africa, South Korea, New Zealand, Israel has kept local exporters on their toes as supply competition from nearby countries are grabbing chunks of the global market.

“And besides the export market, we’re also promoting our products to our local markets which also need all our products” Tacumba explained.