An urban city in the country is set to become a thriving center for agriculture.
On July 20, Taguig City and the Department of Agriculture (DA) inked a memorandum of agreement for the Urban Agriculture Project (UAP), an initiative aimed at establishing agri-industrial operations in the municipality, the Business World reported. The urban area is strategic in location as it lies on the shore of Laguna Lake.
The program seeks to achieve two main objectives: improve Taguig’s urban food security and nutrition and extend assistance to farmers and fisherfolk in neighboring towns. Part of the former is helping vulnerable communities and kickstarting the city’s urban ecological management, according to the department. In the latter, meanwhile, the agreement will allow workers from Rizal and Laguna to bring their produce to Taguig via their boats and sell them.
Formed to promote a thriving industry, the agri-industrial sites will offer facilities, capital, and production knowledge to small farmers. Among the facilities mentioned are warehouses, cold storage, and markets where people can visit. Ultimately, the program is expected to improve productivity, create jobs, and bolster the economy.
Urban Area for Agriculture
The agriculture project in Taguig City involves several government agencies, as cited in this Manila Standard report. The Bureau of Plant Industry, for one, will supervise the crop production and community gardening through technical assistance and agricultural inputs. Employing different techniques and tools, they will go around key areas of the municipality, including households, barangays, schools, and public offices.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, meanwhile, will teach urban dweller beneficiaries aquaculture methods. In addition, they are responsible for preserving the community gene bank, which ensures stable food production for beneficiaries.
For the management of livestock, the Bureau of Animal Industry will use its technical expertise to help the local communities. Ensuring that the management of resources along Laguna Lake is proper and risk-free, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management will oversee practices.
Acknowledging the current pandemic, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that in the new normal, planting and other agricultural activities are crucial and can’t be dismissed.
New Clark City as Another Agri-industrial Site
Earlier, the agriculture agency said that they’re eyeing New Clark City (NCC) as another agri-industrial business corridor, in fact, the first in the country, according to Rappler. Together with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the department is planning to start the construction of the 30-hectare site next year, 2021.
Citing the “vast agricultural resources and strategic location” of NCC, the DA said that it can spark and support economic development in the new normal.
Similar to the vision for Taguig, NCC’s agri-industrial hubs will provide resources to farmers, namely technology, capital, and facilities. Among the proposed amenities is the national seed technology park.
The Clark Fresh Market, meanwhile, which will rise at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex, will feature an integrated post-harvest facility. It will accommodate niche products, such as organic produce and halal-certified and premium-quality food items.
For BCDA president and CEO Vince Dizon, NCC provides the ideal environment for the planned agri-industrial site in the region. Its connectivity infrastructure and future developments will support large-scale operations. Once the site is operational, he’s positive that it will spur thriving economic activities in Central Luzon, generating jobs and causing more aggressive development in the countryside.
The rise of the agri-industrial site complements the other infrastructure projects in the area, including the expansion of Clark International Airport, improvement of Sangley Airport, and development of Subic-Clark cargo railway and Manila-Clark passenger railway.
More Developments in the Future
The agriculture department said that they are planning to establish 12 more agri-industrial business corridors in key areas in the country. In particular, they’re eyeing to build on the new regions the Philippine Economic Zone Authority has recognized to attract more investments.
For the real estate sector, this provides a positive outlook for the industrial segment. It strengthens demand for warehouses, even as the sector enjoys heightened interest fueled by e-commerce. With the growing reliance on the internet, online shopping platforms have commanded stronger interest, prompting the need for storage of vast inventories, as Manila Standard reported.
Property firms, which have jumped into the trend of constructing warehouses in townships, are more likely to expand such projects in their portfolio, given the rise of agri-industrial hubs all over the country.
Sources: Business World, Manila Standard, Rappler