LA TRINIDAD, Benguet December 10 – The management of the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) must continue conducting aggressive information and education campaign to allow farmers to understand the benefits derived from the operation of the multi-million facility, Mayor Edna C. Tabanda said here recently.
The local chief executive, who is also a member of the BAPTC project steering committee, said many farmers and agriculture industry stakeholders still do not understand the benefits to be derived from the operation of the facility and its overall impact to the trading of semi-temperate vegetables.
“Farmers must understand that the primary purpose of the BAPTC is to establish a one-stop trading center for highland vegetables and to help them gain access to local and global markets as well as for locally grown crops to be globally competitive during the implementation of the ASEN free trade,” Tabanda stressed.
She added BAPTC management must be able to make farmers understand that the facility is an economic enterprise, thus, its operations will be self-liquidating and not absolutely free for those interested to trade their agricultural produce in the facility.
According to her, the existing operation of the biggest trading center in the country is on an experimental basis in order to apply the use of its manual operations for experts to be able to assess which among the provisions of the manual will be maintained, improved or removed and amended.
Tabanda reiterated the fact that vegetable trading will be transferred from the old trading post at the back of the municipal hall to the BAPTC in the coming months once the local government will receive the funds to be used to renovate the old facility and covert the same into a two-storey cutflower trading and center for the promotion and advancement of champion products from the capital town.
Tabanda asserted the municipal government had always been catering to the needs of agriculture industry stakeholders provincewide and now that the BAPTC is already in place to attend to large-scale vegetable trading, the local government will now have to use the old trading post for the promotion of locally produced cutflowers and other champion crops from the municipality.
She claimed it is now high time that the old trading post will be used by farmers from the municipality because La Trinidad had long been serving the interest of farmers not only from the province but also from different vegetable-producing provinces in the different parts of the region.
Mayor Tabanda explained BAPTC management and agriculture industry stakeholders must accept the birth pains of the start of operations and appropriate adjustments must already be put in place prior to the full operation of the trading center which will cater to wet market buyers, institutional buyers and other foreign buyers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) once the free trade agreement will be fully be implemented by the end of this year.