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MANKAYAN, Benguet – The agriculture department earmarked some P20 million for the put up of a monolithic dome and packaging facility in barangay Balili to add to post-harvest facilities that will ensure the steady supply of fresh vegetables being delivered to the markets even during calamity and emergency situations.
Personnel of the Cordillera office of the Agriculture Department recently conducted an ocular inspection in the proposed site of the project as construction of the facility is expected to start by March.
Mayor Frenzel Ayong stated that the 1,500-square meter land required for the put up of the project was donated by former councilor and Balili punong barangay Donald Poyasen who is a member of the farmers association in the area that will co-manage the said facility.
He disclosed that the counterpart of the municipal government is the allocation of some P800,000 for the site development of the property for the construction of the facility that will serve as an added boost to the ongoing efforts of concerned government agencies and the municipal government to provide additional post-harvest facilities for the stakeholders of the province’s agriculture industry.
Mankayan is the first local government in the country to receive this kind of project as more than 50 percent of the vegetable farmers in the different vegetable-producing barangays are said to be certified to be compliant to the good agricultural practices being strongly advocated by the agriculture department and the municipal government.
Mayor Ayong claimed that based on the plans presented to the municipal government, the first floor of the facility will be a packing center, while the second floor will be used as a cold chain facility to help in preserving the freshness of the vegetable produce of the farmers prior to being transported to the private and public trading centers in the capital town of La Trinidad.
The mayor expressed the municipal government’s gratitude to the land owner, the farmers association and the GAP-certified vegetable farmers for pooling their resources with the municipality for the realization of the aforesaid project to boost the agriculture development in the locality.
According to him, the municipal government will continue to seek assistance from the concerned government agencies for more development projects to be implemented in the different parts of the municipality to boost the growth and development of agriculture and improve the lives of farmers.
The six upland barangays of the municipality are the vegetable-producing barangays while the six lower barangays are mining communities that have contributed in sustaining the town’s classification as one of the five first-class municipalities in the province.
The mayor stipulated that since the land to be developed is still planted with agricultural crops to be harvested by the end of February, the project will be prosecuted by March. By HENT