Issue of May 14, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Facility to make washing of carrots systematic launched
by Ofelia C. Empian

The Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center is slowly being used following the launch of an area that will cater to carrot washers who will occupy 80 stalls in the facility. -- Harley Palangchao/Ofelia Empian


Total of 80 stalls will service various carrot washers at the Benguet Agri-pinoy Trading Center located within the four-hectare lot of the Benguet State University at the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad.

BAPTC Chief Operating Officer Violeta Salda said the carrot washing area is the initiative of carrot traders particularly the Carrot Washers, Disposers, and Buyers Association.

Salda said the organization has funded and built the stalls to cater to members of the organization.

“This is their investment and will function through a build-operate-lease mode,” Salda said.

The washing area is one of the new additions to the facilities existing at the BAPTC, which includes the spot trading posts, commercial area, cold storage area, and warehouses.

She added the organization will oversee the maintenance of the facility and will pay the utilities such as water and electricity. Also, 50 percent of their supposed rentals would be deducted from their expenses in the operation of the facility.

The facility includes stalls for washing, siltation pond and canal.

She said the group has agreed that the silt recovered from the pond will be used as additional material for compost as well as the trimmings from the carrots. The silt and trimmings will be collected by the group to be used by their members.

The water to be used in the facility will come from the La Trinidad Water District pending the construction of a deep well within the BAPTC.

Antonia Palingpingan, president of the carrot washers group, said many of them transferred from the Bahingawan carrot washing area near the town hall to BAPTC, saying the new facility is better and more organized.

She said it took them time to transfer to BAPTC because they were apprehensive of the guidelines set before.

Earlier, the BAPTC management has set 25 centavos per kilo fees to be collected for every farmer who would make use of the trading center but the fees were eventually lifted.

Their organization currently has 50 members with established clients in Urdaneta, Lucena, and Divisoria. Their produce could also reach Iloilo, Bicol, Samar, and Tacloban.

She said they are able to supply 1,500 to 3,000 tons of carrots per day.

Salda said they are now employing researches, courtesy of Benguet State University, to improve the carrot washing facility.

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