News Feature: Butuan biz group promotes 'Caraga Lobster' as regional signature brand

  • September 19, 2016
  • Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 19 (PIA) - For a region that envisions of becoming the fishery, agri-forestry, mineral and eco-tourism center of the country, the upcoming Caraga Agricultural Trade and marketing Exposition (CARAT Expo 2016) slated to open here on November 9-13, 2016 is seen to bolster a signature brand for the region – the ‘Caraga Lobster.’

As the lead chamber in organizing the CARAT Expo, Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (BCCFI) tagged it as the premiere agri-fishery-related event in Mindanao that targets to identify a local product that will significantly stand out as the chief and distinctive product of Caraga region.

This 2016 CARAT Expo is also conceptualized to supplement the Philippine Cold Chain Project’s (PCCP) thrust of providing more focused marketing and trading initiatives to help increase productivity and create trade opportunities for small producers in Caraga.

Dan Gudhal, chief of party of the Winrock International, underlined that the Philippine Cold Chain Project (PCCP) is a four-year United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded program implemented by the Winrock International in Caraga region. He added that it has two primary objectives. One is to increase the production of perishable high-valued commodities, and the other is to improve marketing of those same commodities.

“We are working with things like lobster, vegetables, fisheries and the other products here in Caraga region. We are very excited to have lobster as the signature brand for Caraga region because lobster is a high-valued product and it’s something unique to the Caraga region. It really exemplifies the wonderful opportunities that are available here in Caraga,” said Gudhal.

The abundant local products of Caraga provinces

Caraga region as an administrative region in the country occupying the northeastern section of the island of Mindanao is known to be rich and abundant in agricultural and aquamarine products.

BCCFI president Roger Ramirez said that “what makes the Agusan Norte mangos extraordinary palatable is because of the sea breeze and ideal amount of moisture that gives the right sweetness and healthy fiber."

Abundant in Agusan del Sur province is the palm fruit called ‘kaong’. It is a main ingredient for the famous Pinoy ‘halo-halo’ and some other dessert salads, declared Freddie Mero, Agusan de Sur chamber president.

Boosting also the Surigao del Norte’s product, Surigao City chamber president Conception Paqueo said that swordfish, locally called ‘liplipan,’ is superb for kinilaw, grill, or paksiw. “It is also top notch for the International Game Fishing Competition in Siargao,” she added.

While king crabs in Bislig City is considered to be the biggest type in the country with its distinct taste, ‘vannamie,’ also known as white shrimps, a variety of prawn which is abundant in the municipality of Tagum, Surigao del Sur which is seven kilometers away from Tandag City is the most popular in dishes and recipes. They are also perfect for cocktail or events in a boodle feast, said Tandag chamber president Emma Guerra.

In Dinagat Islands, ‘lapu-lapu’ or groupers come in different colors and sizes yet has the same delectable taste. It is perfect for ‘escabeche’ dish.

On top of the provincial products, Caraga brings to the country and to the world its regional product brand - the ‘CARAGA Lobster.’

“Among the many products which Caraga is planning to showcase is the lobster because the people of Dinagat Islands have successfully cultured lobsters and a lot of them are already earning a livelihood from raising lobster in captivity. So lobster is a very prominent product to be displayed during the CARAT Expo, including other aquamarine products such as milkfish, grouper, lapu-lapu and seven other species which have been declared by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as technically feasible to be raised in captivity. Watch out for CARAT Expo coming very soon,” said Department of Trade and Industry Caraga regional director Brielgo Pagaran.

Caraga Lobster will banner Caraga region as it projects the largest and fastest growing economic hub in Mindanao. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


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