BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Braham B. Akilit announced that the local government is negotiating with the management of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) for the use of its Buendia platform as a venue where locally grown organic vegetables could be sold to prospective clients.
The local chief executive said the contents of the memorandum of agreement for the said purpose is being prepared and subject to evaluation and review by the municipal government and PNR management so that organic farmers from the municipality will be able to market their produce to potential buyers in the different parts of the National Capital Region (NCR).
“We are elated that our initial talks with PNR management gained positive results that is why we want to make the proposal work out so that our organic vegetable producers will be able to have a sustainable market in the Metro Manila areas to help empower them to produce more quality agricultural crops,” Akilit stressed.
Mayor Akilit added he also wrote Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay-Campos to facilitate the improvement of the drainage system within the vicinity of the area in preparation for the operation of the proposed outlet for organically produced vegetables, considering that PNR management seems to be convinced with the proposal which is why they recommended for the crafting of the required agreement.
According to him, appropriate representations were also done by the municipal government with the Department of Agriculture for the provision of the necessary refrigerated vans and cold storage facilities, among others, for the use of the Bauko Organic Producers Cooperative to guarantee the quality of the agricultural crops when sold in the proposed outlet.
Akilit asserted it will be the organic vegetables produced by Bauko organic farmers that will be sold in the area once operational but they will also be open to accommodating other organically produced vegetables from other areas considering that organic vegetable producers from Benguet have also signified their intention to be part of the source of the organic vegetables to be sold.
After the draft of the agreement shall have been prepared, Akilit claimed both parties will review its contents and submit their recommendations for consideration of the concerned party before it will be finalized and signed.
He admitted that farmers selling their produce in the outlet will be transparent about their products to be able to gain the trust and confidence of buyers from different parts of Metro Manila that is why the local government was convinced to extend the needed assistance to them in locating the possible outlet for their products to ensure sustained sources of income for the individual farmers and the cooperative as a whole.
One of the major advocacies of the municipal government is to convince farmers to shift from the chemical-based to organic farming considering that many consumers have already become health conscious and are now patronizing the sale of organically produced agricultural crops sold in the market, even if the said crops command a higher buying price.