THE first Tomato Consolidation Facility in Pangasinan that will soon rise in Barangay Sta. Maria, Alaminos City, is expected to bring economic benefits to local farmers and the local government unit (LGU).
Jenelyn Grace Tanggana, city agriculturist and facilitator of the Farm Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), said in an interview Thursday, August 23, that the P1.951-million Tomato Consolidation Facility will be used to bring together the products of members of the Hundred Islands Farmpreneurs Association (HIFA) before delivery to Zenith Foods.
“It is necessary to meet the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on Post-Harvest Handling, especially now that the association has applied for Philippine GAP certification. The facility will also be used to house properties of the association such as plastic crates, and it will serve as office and permanent address of the association,” she disclosed.
Tanggana noted that 60 percent of funds for the construction of the facility are from loan proceeds from the World Bank, while the Department of Agriculture and the city government of Alaminos will equally share in the remaining 40 percent of the funding. The 168-square meter lot where the facility will stand was donated by former barangay captain Liborio Ramos, she added.
“We partner with the Jollibee Group Foundation for their FEP in the marketing of the farmers’ products,” Tanggana said.
The groundbreaking to signify the start of construction of the facility was held last week.
Tanggana said the facility will directly link farmers to their market, eliminating middlemen, thus, will result in more profits than traditional marketing.
“It will also boost the confidence of farmers and uplift their morale of stereotyping farmers as poorest among the poor citizen as it will as well uplift their way of living as small farms are given opportunity to gain more profit,” she said.
Tanggana added that through this consolidation facility, small farm owners can bring their products together to be able to supply bigger markets that only middlemen with financial capabilities have control over.
With the facility benefitting the farmers, the LGU will likewise gain economically, she said. (PNA)