• DA seeks more support for Benguet trade center

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    The Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to appeal for farmers’ groups from the Cordillera Administrative Region to do business with the government-financed Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC).

    Since it opened last year, trading at P655-million facility has been lackluster as farmers and traders were adamant to take in the new system, particularly because of the operational fees to be collected against their account. Such fees are being charged by the old trading post system.

    “We are appealing to all stakeholders to support the facility and be open to the changes in their system,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said during the Highland Vegetable Investment Forum cum Trade Fair held in BAPTC on May 16-17, 2016.

    Alcala emphasized the center will improve the existing farm and trading systems in the region and eventually help farmers increase their profit. The new scheme is not against the middlemen, he added.

    Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness Leandro Gazmin explained that the department is preparing farmers to compete in the world market.

    “As such, we have to ensure that our farmers follow food safety in the world market. Let’s think of our food as hygienic and with good quality,” Gazmin said.

    Through the BAPTC, farmers would not be taken advantaged of and they would have more links to more markets, Alcala noted.

    As the biggest trading center in the country, facility will include trading spaces and a processing center for highland vegetables like carrots, lettuce, and broccoli.

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