PHL tries dropping middlemen for livestock and farm produce
In an effort to do away with middlemen and give farmers direct access to markets, the Department of Agriculture on Friday said an agreement will be signed for setting up trading centers in northern Luzon and Mindanao.
“The trading centers, which will be constructed in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and North Cotabato, are designed to enable farmers to skip through the layers of middlemen, and increase their sales by accessing a lucrative market for their produce, the department said in a statement.
“The project also intends to lower and stabilize food prices paid by the consumers as well as achieve food self-sufficiency in the country,” the department noted.
Agriculture Secretary is signing on Friday the memorandum of agreement covering construction and operation of Agri-Pinoy Trading Center with the local government units involved and the private sector at the Bureau of Soil and Water Management convention hall in Quezon City.
What this means is that the trading centers are “ready for takeoff,” the department said.
The Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center will be constructed in a four-hectare compound inside Benguet State University (BSU). It will focus on trading upland or “chopsuey” vegetables – carrots, lettuce, chayote, and broccoli among others.
The department said the trading center in Benguet “is expected to benefit more than 5,000 farmers from nearby provinces.”
The Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija trading centers, covering four hectares and 2.5 hectares, respectively, will become the main trading posts for lowland veggies such as squash, eggplant, bitter gourd, and other similar vegetables. The facilities will each serve more than 3,000 farmers during the initial operation.
The University of Southern Mindanao (USM) Halal Training and Development Center in North Cotabato will serve as slaughterhouse and trading post for livestock animals like goat and sheep and will serve approximately 1,000 livestock farmers trading around nearby areas.
Alcala said he wants the trading centers patterned after the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura ng Quezon established in 2006.
The department noted the Sentrong Pamilihan “uplifted the financial status of Quezon farmers.”
Signing the agreement with Alcala are Urdaneta Mayor Amadeo Perez, Urdaneta Farmers’ Federation president Mr. Jacob Malicdem, and USM president Jesus Antonio Derije.
Others who are signing the agreement are Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali, Nueva Ecija Vegetables Growers’ Association chairman Jerry Agpalo, Benguet State University president Ben Ladilad, Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan, Benguet Congressional District I Representative Ronald Cosalan, La Trinidad Mayor Gregorio Abalos Jr., and Benguet Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative president Aurelio Lapniten. — VS, GMA News
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