visayas.politics.com.ph

May cold storage facility daw Food terminal to rise in Panay island

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A new P11.8-million regional food terminal is being eyed to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers in Panay Island in Western Visayas.

The project includes a solar-powered cold storage facility with 12-cubic-meter capacity, office and training center, and delivery vehicles.

Located in San Miguel in Iloilo, the terminal was inaugurated last Feb. 7, to improve the marketing system of the farmers especially in upland towns.

It allows upland farmers in Panay to sell their products directly to the consumers.

Ricardo Doce, president of the Federated Farmers Association of San Miguel, said this would help increase the income of local farmers.

Jose Pepe Caoyonan, chairman of San Miguel Farmers’ Cooperative, added the project will mean lesser expenses in transporting farm products to Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, the food terminal will also eliminate the problems on traders and middlemen who dictate the prices for the farmers, Department of Agriculture Region 6 Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division head Maria Teresa Solis said.

The terminal is part of KOICA’s Panay Island Upland Sustainable Rural Development Project (PIU-SRDP) with the DA-6, which aims to provide a direct market link between food producers and consumers.

DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn Recoter said the projects granted by KOICA will solve the different marketing problems of farmers in Western Visayas.

KOICA and DA also put up Bayanihan Tipon Centers (BTCs in Libacao and Madalag in Aklan; Patnongon, Sebaste, and Tobias Fornier in Antique; Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz; and Alimodian, Lambunao, and Tubungan in Iloilo.

KOICA also provided a P20-million loan fund which can be used by different farmers’ groups and individual farmers for their marketing related activities.

Dr. Yoon Haejin of KOICA said Iloilo is the pilot for the project in the whole Philippines.

“Iloilo is a model project and this is the first time in the Philippines. With this kind of system, we hope that it can also be replicated to other areas in the Philippines,” he said.