THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said one of its accomplishments under the outgoing administration is the completion of 10 agricultural trading centers in different parts of the country aimed to directly link farmers to their markets.
According to a report from the DA, 10 Agri-Pinoy Trading Centers (APTC) were completed by the agency since 2012, while 12 more are under construction or a preconstruction phase.
“These trading hubs reduce [the intervention] of middlemen and allow farmers to bargain for a better price for their produce, resulting in 15-percent to 25-percent increase in income, and benefiting consumers through stable supply and better product quality,” the DA said.
APTCs that are now operational include the Isabela Multi-Commodity APTC, Quezon APTC, Pangasinan APTC, Camarines Norte APTC, Regional Organic Trading Center, Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT), Dalaguete APTC, Nueva Ecija APCT and the largest, which is the Benguet APTC.
In an earlier interview, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala told reporters the trading centers were not only envisioned to function as individual regional trading posts.
“The next step would be to make them inter-regional trading posts. [Crops] that are abundant and cheap in one region will be delivered to regions that are in need of those crops. This will prevent prices to shoot up in regions that lack supply of certain commodities,” he said.
The outgoing DA chief said this has already been proven in October 2015, when prices of ginger jumped to P180 to P200 per kilogram in Metro Manila and Quezon. He said traders bought volumes of ginger from NVAT at P100 per kilogram and delivered them to Manila and Quezon.