Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala opened the Pangasinan Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (APTC) in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan on July 9, 2014 as part of the government’s efforts to revolutionize the lives of small farmers in the north and enable them to be Agri-Preneurs.
The P29.3-million (M) facility will serve as the province’s biggest trading depot where farmers can bring their produce, to sell to traders at competitive and fair prices.
“Ito pong pasilidad na ito ang magpapabago ng buhay ng lahat ng magsasaka at mangingisda dito sa lalawigan ng Pangasinan at kalapit na probinsya,”Alcala said.
He added that farm producers who used to trade their harvests in the streets, come rain or shine, will now have a regular market to sell their products.
Aside from providing a steady trading facility, the Agriculture department is set to organize a group of technicians to teach farmers produce high-quality farm products.
“We will organize groups of experts who will visit your communities and teach you how to grow better agri-produce,” Alcala said.
The Pangasinan APTC is one of the 10 trading centers established this year by the Department of Agriculture (DA) designed to make farmers more entrepreneurial by skipping through the insignificant layers of middlemen, resulting to an increased sales. The center will also stabilize market prices and offer affordable foodstuff to consumers.
“Ito po ay alinsunod sa utos sa akin ng ating Pangulo nang ako ay kanyang i-appoint na huwag pababayaan ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa buong Pilipinas,” Alcala stressed.
The facility will benefit a total of 4,846 farmers and fisherfolk across Pangasinan and generate more than 1,200 jobs.
Alcala announced that the government is set to open 10 APTCs nationwide this year, and another 15 centers in 2015.
Aside from the trading post, Alcala also led the opening of the City’s organic trading post to cater to organically grown farm produce from 70 organic farmers from Urdaneta, Manaoag and Villasis.
The P1.5 M trading post, which was turned over to the city government, will serve as a venue where organic producers and processors can showcase their products.
The facility will also provide training services to help enhance the competitiveness and capability of organic producers and improve the quality of their products
During the event, Alcala also awarded to Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez IV, 100 bags of certified seeds and 300 bags of registered seeds with a total worth P124,000, as part of the national government’s support to the local rice sufficiency program of Urdaneta City.