Highlands Vegetables Article

Attended by no less than Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the ACPC participated in the Highland Vegetable Trade Fair and Investment Forum at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) in La Trinidad, Benguet last May 16-17, 2016.

The trade fair-cum-investment forum was an activity of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Regional Field Office (DA-CARFO) in coordination with the DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS) and the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) highlighting the importance of the highland vegetable industry in the economy of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The two-day event showcased farm fresh vegetable produce at the exhibition area alongside post-harvest technologies, farm inputs, and government products and services available for the growing highland vegetable industry.

CAR has about 80,000 farmers engaged in highland vegetable production. The municipality of Benguet alone supplies 80% of the country’s highland vegetable requirement.

The event also gathered fresh vegetable farmers, consolidators, processors, technology providers, input suppliers, members of the academe, and DA line agencies to present and discuss various challenges in the development of highland vegetable production. Credit and financing requirements, marketing, good agricultural practices (GAP), sanitation and organic agriculture, trade liberalization were among the issues tackled during the open forum.

A series of dialogues were also held to address specific issues of farmers with investors, buyers, and government programs or regulations and come up with initial agreements on these.

The event was also an occasion to inform the public on BAPTC’s operation, programs and interventions, and policy guidelines.

BAPTC is a government-financed four-hectare complex opened in 2015 that is envisioned to be a modern trading and processing center for various agri produce. The facility is one of government’s response to the need to enhance local agriculture’s competitiveness in light of the country’s participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community integration.