DA sets 5 ‘bagsakan’ centers for Southern Mindanao

Aug. 14, 2007

The government is working on five bagsakan centers in the Davao Region where the Department of Agriculture (DA) is infusing five million pesos to fund the project. These centers will have cold storage and other facilities to handle food and crops from farmers.

DA XI agribusiness chief Mirope Lamsen in an interview on Monday after the Kapehan sa Dabaw said these centers will be located in Agdao and Bankerohan of Davao City, and one each in Digos, Davao del Sur, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province and Tagum City in Davao del Norte.

Lamsen said each center is allocated P1 million and the center among others would include a cold storage facility.

She said there has to be pre-cooling in order to maintain the freshness of the fruits and vegetables.

Also envisioned with the setting up of the center is to minimize layers in marketing chain, she said.

She said if these centers are now operational the producers can have choices where to bring their produce that are nearer to their production sites.

Definitely pag may bagsakan centers na mabawasan na ang middle men na nakapadagdag sa presyo, she said.

But she said the Agdao Bagsakan Center will be the first bagsakan to be operational and which they intend to open within the year and its operation will be managed by the Vegetable Industry Council of Southern Mindanao (VISCMIN).

Agdao which won the national search of Huwarang Palengke last year will be prioritized and the center will become distribution area for vegetable and fruit producers of the region.

She mentioned that the regions vegetable producing areas that has a temperate climate and can produce vegetables similar to those grown in Baguio are Kapatagan, Digos City of Davao del Sur, Marilog of Davao City and Maragusan of Compostela Valley Province.

Meanwhile, VICSMIN president Roger Gualberto said that clustering works by adopting a system of production protocols, logistics and marketing strategies that enable individual farmers to meet the quality and volume requirements of institutional buyers and processors.

He said their major concern is how to improve the access of our small farmers to major markets even as he said that good agricultural practices in vegetable farming must at all times be applied.

By being GAP-certified it will enable farmers in Mindanao to significantly improve product quality and meet the ever-increasing demands of high-end institutional markets.

Lamsen on the other hand said that they are studying the market in the region in order for them to determine what is the capacity, volume and quality of the regions vegetable and fruit production.

She also said that with the bagsakan centers available to the farmers, mishandling of products will be eliminated giving our consumers safe and healthy produce. (PIA XI/prixdbanzon)

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