P655-M agri complex to rise in Benguet

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) expects to complete by the first quarter of next year the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Complex (BAPTC), which will serve as a model of value-chain approach to agribusiness development in the country.

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Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has said the P655-million BAPTC in La Trinidad, the biggest agricultural trading center to be constructed in the Philippines, is being prepared to become a center of excellence and model of cooperation among stakeholders.

“The complex 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,” Alcala added in a statement.

Located in a four-hectare land owned by the Benguet State University, the complex will include three huge buildings that will house trading spaces and processing facilities for local produce of highland vegetables such as carrots, lettuce and broccoli.

It will also include dry and cold storage facilities and a dormitory to house farmers and traders from outside Benguet.

Last week, Alcala visited the project site to personally see the progress of ongoing construction—his second in less than two months—then met with the Project Steering Committee to firm up details of the management contract for the facility. Composed of representatives from the municipal and provincial government, DA, BSU and farmers’ organizations, the Project Steering Committee provides policy directions necessary to ensure good management and achievement of goals of the complex.

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