|Benguet trading center to serve as model of value-chain approach to agribusiness development - Alcala|
|Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:15|
The Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC), which is expected to open first quarter this year, is seen by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as a pilot model of value-chain approach in developing and strengthening the agribusiness sector in the Philippines.
The P655-million BAPTC, the biggest agricultural trading center to be constructed in the country, is being prepared to be a center of excellence and model of cooperation among stakeholders to further boost agribusiness.
“The center will showcase a holistic approach in stimulating growth in the sector through value-chain analysis—that is, we do not stop at production, but we assist farmers in processing, value-adding and marketing,” DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said.
BAPTC will be donated to the Benguet State University (BSU), which allocated a four-hectare lot in its campus where the infrastructure complex stands. The center will be managed by a project steering committee composed of representatives from the municipal and provincial government, DA, BSU and farmers’ organizations. The committee will as well provide the policy directions necessary to ensure good management and achievement of goals of the center.
Secretary Alcala, during a meeting on November 20, 2014, highlighted that the center needs good management to efficiently handle both the prospects and challenges of the project to maximize its potential as catalyst of improving the lives of vegetable farmers in the Cordilleras.
“This is important as the center will serve as a prototype for replication in other agribusiness hubs in the country. The meeting focused on the fine-tuning of the Memorandum of Agreement on the BAPTC that will be signed by the stakeholders before the opening of the center,” Alcala stressed.
Alcala said that the center will be managed professionally. To ensure this, DA has commissioned the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) to craft the center’s operations manual, which DAP should have finalized by March 2015. He added that DA is also scouting for professional managers with skills that suit the demands of managing the BAPTC.
As steward of the facility, BSU will assist in capacitating farmers to manage and self-police themselves, and will also offer professional services such as laboratory analyses of products coming out of BAPTC as part of its extension program. In turn, part of BAPTC’s revenues shall be allocated for the upgrading of BSU’s laboratories, among other relevant projects. The facility shall also cater to BSU students for their internships and on-the-job trainings.
Alcala said that although BAPTC is not the first-of-its-kind facility in the country as a similar trading center in Sariaya, Quezon had already been established, BAPTC is the only trading center that will be co-operated by various stakeholders, including the academe and farmers’ organizations.
“Multi-stakeholder partnerships like this will ensure that we arrive at sound decisions and plans, and we create a culture of cooperation that expedite our services to farmers,” Alcala said.
Alcala added that DA will further enhance the project under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP and will help in the re-development of La Trinidad’s old trading post for other agricultural purposes, such as the cutflower business, also a lucrative industry in Benguet.
“DA is planning to put up a farmers’ market in Manila where products from the BAPTC and other future Agri-Pinoy trading centers will be delivered and sold at lower prices,” Alcala added. ### (Jan P. Dacumos , DA-AFID)
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:23|