LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala expressed optimism on the bright prospects of the multi-million Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) following its projected full operation next month in order to link the local vegetable farmers with the different types of traders.
Alcala, who personally presided over the meeting of BAPTC’s project steering committee, rallied vegetable farmers in the different parts of Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao to start bringing their products to the BAPTC while the management is currently putting in place the reading process in preparation for the facility’s full operation within the first two weeks of March.
Further, Secretary Alcala said the putting in place of the revised operating guidelines of the facility will put to rest the numerous questions being raised by concerned stakeholders against the operating manual which had been raised by several farmers associations.
Dr. Danilo Daguio, assistant regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) and BAPTC operations manager, said the project steering committee agreed that the trading fee in the facility will be P0.25 per kilo of vegetables traded but rebates will be granted to individuals and groups of farmers who are able to meet the prescribed quota for the month.
Based on the agreed policy, individuals and groups of farmers who are able to trade 299 tons of vegetables in the facility for a month will be assessed P0.25 per kilo as trading fee, individuals and groups of farmers who will be able to trade 300 to 449 tons of vegetables in a month will be assessed P0.20 trading fee while individuals and groups of farmers who will be able to trade 450 tons and above in a month will be assessed P0.15 trading fee.
Daguio added the committee also adopted two types of trading scheme which are the open trading scheme and the so-called auction. Under the open trading scheme, each farmers group will be allotted an area in the BAPTC having a measurement of 15 square meters wherein they will designate five disposers to trade their vegetable produce upon the supervision and regulation of the BAPTC management while the auction scheme allows the facility to fix the auction period from 7 am to 8 am for them to be able to avail of the better pricing schemes beneficial to the producers.
The DA-CAR and BAPTC official revealed the project steering committee also waived the accreditation fee being charged to individuals and groups of farmers seeking accreditation from the management, adding that those individuals and groups who earlier paid the accreditation fees will be reimbursed in order to be fair with everyone provided that they will be able to show their proof of payment.
Moreover, Daguio also disclosed the parking fee of farmers and traders will be free for the initial operation of the facility in order to attract the influx of individuals and groups of farmers to trade with traders coming from the different type of buyers.
He encouraged individual farmers to join the different farmers associations in their respective places so that they will be able to contribute in meeting the prescribed quota that will allow them to be granted rebates by the BAPTC management.
By Dexter A. See