La Trinidad, Benguet– Agriculture Secretary William Dar ordered the release of some P20 million from the agency for long-overdue put up of a state-of-the-art processing center, one of the components of the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) within the property of the State-run Benguet State University (BSU).
Secretary Dar visited the BAPTC over the weekend to turnover seven brand new vehicles to further improve the services of the trading center aside from conducting an ocular inspection on the ongoing operations of the facility.
Dar was accompanied by Gov. Melchor Diclas and Mayor Romeo K. Salda during his visit to the facility that is being jointly managed by the agriculture department, the provincial government, BSU, the La Trinidad Municipal Government, the Office of the Benguet Congressman and accredited farmers association.
The DA official stipulated that the operation of the processing center will add value to locally produced vegetables that will translate to better income for the farmers.
Apart from the put up of the processing center, the agriculture department is also working on the details of the proposed put up of a packaging center within the trading center to partially complete the value chain and further improve the marketability of highland vegetables produced in Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao.
Mayor Salda claimed the put up of the processing center and the proposed establishment of the long-overdue packaging center will definitely boost the province’s agriculture industry improving the value chain for the different types of highland vegetables being produced by the farmers who rely on farming as their main source of livelihood.
Salda stated the processing center is one of the major components of the BAPTC that will contribute in the overall efforts of the government to improve the value chain for locally produced vegetables, especially the highly perishable ones, so that the same will be processed pursuant to the demand of the market, particularly the high end market, and avoid wastage when the buying prices of the agricultural produce of farmers drastically drop because of oversupply.
According to him, the added component of the trading center will help in boosting the trust and confidence of concerned stakeholders to the ability of the facility to provide the needed services that will significantly improve the value chain and complete the same so that high-end buyers will be encouraged to directly purchase their requirements from the farmers transacting business in the BAPTC.
Salda explained the operation of the BAPTC is under utilized at present because the trading transactions are done only in the morning, thus, there is now really a need to entice farmers to do the transactions during the day pursuant to what the facility has been envisioned when it was being conceptualized by experts during the previous administration when the construction of the supposed state-of-the-art trading center was proposed and realized through the initiation of the agriculture department.
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