07/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/21/2021 01:50
Author: DA Communications Group | 21 July 2021
The Department of Agriculture (DA) will establish the first Agri-industrial Business Corridor (ABC) for freshwater aquaculture and urban farming in Taguig, in partnership with the city government and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano and LLDA General Manager Jaime Medina forged an agreement, on July 20, 2021, commencing the 10-year project, with an initial funding of P300 million under the Duterte administration's Bayanihan 2.
'We are privileged to partner with the LLDA and City of Taguig for this freshwater aquaculture park and urban farming project that will provide Metro Manila consumers with adequate and reasonably-priced food, particularly bangus and tilapia, including mushrooms and vegetables,' said Secretary Dar during the project's MOA signing and groundbreaking ceremony.
'It is the country's second agri-industrial business corridor (ABC), following the first in New Clark City, where the National Seed Technology Park will rise in partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA),' said Secretary Dar.
'We envision the Taguig ABC, along with the nearby Food Terminal Inc. (FTI), as part of the agri-industrial and food market hub that will serve the southeast quadrant of Metro Manila,' said the DA chief.
Under the joint project, the LLDA will provide two hectares of land along C-6, where several facilities will be constructed, and an adjacent 15-hectare lakeshore area, where the aquaculture park will be developed and opened to cooperatives and private enterprises.
Four DA agencies are engaged in the Taguig project, namely the:
The DA-BFAR will also establish a satellite office in the project site to provide technical assistance, conduct trainings, and help organize and cluster existing fisherfolk organizations. The agency is also tasked to monitor and evaluate the project, provide technical support in the zoning delineation and demarcation of the aquaculture park, and conduct of regular water quality assessments.
Secretary Dar also suggested the establishment of a fish and food market near the Taguig ABC, where fisherfolk could directly sell their harvest to institutional buyers and consumers.
Once the facilities are completed, the Taguig City government will manage and maintain the agro-industrial hub, and ensure its sustainable operation for the 10-year duration of the project. It will provide necessary funding, equipment, and manpower for the development of the access road from the highway to the site. It will also construct three facilities in the area, particularly the agriculture, lake and river management, and environment and natural resources offices.
'While we maintain a sustainable environment in the Laguna Lake, this Taguig agri-industrial hub could provide part of the food requirements of Metro Manila. Hence, for this project, we have to do a balancing act. We need to produce enough food and see to it that fishing cages must be properly laid out so these will not contribute to the pollution of the lake,' Secretary Dar said.
He thus urged the LLDA, all Laguna Lake local government units, the private sector, and concerned national agencies, including the DA, to craft a synchronized plan for Laguna de Bay with the long-term vision of protecting it and at the same time conserving it to sustainably produce enough food for Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.
For his part, Mayor Cayetano affirmed their full support and commitment to pursue and complete the project, as it complements the long-term goals of the city of sustainability and improved quality of life for their constituents, particularly farmers and fishers.
Also present during the Taguig ABC MOA signing and groundbreaking ceremony were Taguig Representatives Alan Peter and Laarni Cayetano, DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and Agri-industrialization Cheryl Marie Natividad Caballero, Taguig City local officials, leaders of farmers' and fishers' groups, and DA officials. ### (AFID)