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Empowering Overseas Filipinos in UAE through Agribusiness

To encourage agribusiness ventures as an additional source of livelihood and income for Overseas Filipinos (OF) that can help sustain their families in the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture, conducted the first leg of Kabayan, Mag-Agribusiness Tayo! in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on May 11 and 12, 2024, respectively.

The event was supported by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, and were attended by H.E. Alfonso Ferdinand A. Ver, the Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, Consul General Marford M. Angeles, DA Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, DLLO, and Consumer Affairs, Atty. Genevieve Velacaria-Guevarra, Philippine Agricultural Attache for the Middle East, Africa, and India, Ms. Nolet M. Fulgencio, and resource speakers from various attached agencies and bureaus of the DA.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) in 2023 amounted to USD 37.2 billion in 2023, which is 3% higher than the USD 36.1 billion remittances in 2022. The majority of these cash remittances were from the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Over the years, the Philippine remittances are consistently the 4th largest country in the world after India, Mexico, and China, which is a major driving force to boost economic growth in the country.

“By investing in agribusiness, we not only secure our food supply and reduce our dependence on imports but also create sustainable livelihoods and economic opportunities for our rural communities.” Assistant Secretary Guevarra.

Through this program, OFs are encouraged to channel some of their personal remittances and other available resources into agricultural ventures and enterprises, to boost capital infusion and stimulate growth in the sector.

With about 100 participants in each site, the forum provided the OFs with key insights and practical tips on how to start and agribusiness. Topics discussed during the forum were following: 1. Philippine Agribusiness Investment Opportunities (Ludivina Rueda of AMAS); 2. From Grass to Meat: Potential of Beef Cattle, Goat, and Sheep (Albet F. Astillero of the Office of the Undersecretary for