DA strengthens barangay food terminals

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Thursday, October 17, 2013


SUPPRESSING the poverty which include hunger and malnutrition is one of the main concerns of Department of Agriculture (DA) in Southern Mindanao, hence, one of the programs that will answer this concern is the installation of Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) in every production area in the region.

During the two-day BFT Summit held Thursday at Royal Mandaya Hotel, which was attended by BFT operators and officers all over the region, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Bernadette San Juan stressed that the availability of the market is very important to augment the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolks.

“Kahit gaano ka dami ang produkto ngunit walang merkado, hindi parin a-angat ang buhay ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” she said.

BFT or Municipal Food Terminal (MFT) (in town level) which is commonly known as “Bagsakan Center” is a barangay-based food depot and distribution system that offers fresh food products like meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruits which directly links farmers and fisherfolk producers to the consumers and community participated retail food distribution system.

San Juan said BFT benefits not only the farmers but also the private sectors and entrepreneurs who are working in partnership with the BFT operators especially when they are looking for specific commodities like cardava, cacao, arabica coffee, and durian that are marketable crops but hard to find.

She added that bringing these products to the national market is one of the challenges in the past. But with the establishment of BFTs in the production areas, specific product can reach to the processing plants, which they processed into affordable finished products with high market value.

"This gives additional income for our farmers especially in the far flung areas," San Juan said.

The DA's Agribusiness and Marketing Division reported that DA established a total of 101 BFT and MFT in Davao Region but only 83 sustained and are operational. Of these, 11 BFT is found in Davao City, 26 in Davao del Sur, 16 Davao del Norte, 20 in Davao Oriental, and 10 in Compostela Valley.

San Juan said that of these remaining operational BFTs there are few which excel over the other because of the rules that they are imposing in running their business.

"I urge those BFTs with excellent performances to share your strategies, rules and regulations that you are imposing in your area so that others will become excellent like you as well," San Juan said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 18, 2013.

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