The Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) processing and packaging facility in La Trinidad will soon be ready by the end of the year to help boost the vegetable industry of the province.
Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Executive Director Cameron Odsey said the construction of the P40-million facility is now ongoing as well as the procurement of sets of equipment needed.
“We are working closely with the research department of Benguet State University because it knows what to do with the specific vegetables that would be processed,” Odsey said.
Odsey said the facility, which was inaugurated December last year with Agriculture Secretary William Dar, would add value to the highland vegetables.
The BAPTC vegetable processing and packaging facility has been planned to use state-of-the-art packaging method to elevate the farmer’s produce.
Aside from the packaging, cleaned vegetables will also be processed and packed as a ready-to-cook produce.
The facility will complement the ongoing DA-assisted P20-million processing facility of BSU, which is set to develop fruit juices from vegetables.
The facilities were an offshoot of the identified problems of farmers, such as oversupply of vegetables, leading to some unsold produce, which ends up being thrown away.
As its added mandate, BAPTC would be the buyer of unsold vegetables which are to be processed in the facility.
DA earlier released P40M for BAPTC to become the buyer of vegetables that are unsold as well as excess vegetable produce of farmers. This would ensure that the farmers would have a return of their investment.
Earlier this month, the BAPTC kicked off the program where eight tons of assorted highland vegetables were bought by the agency from various farmers, which was bound for Bacolod City. – Ofelia C. Empian