P12-M ‘potato project’ for Benguet farmers' group completed
January 13, 2022 - Thursday 6:01 PM by Aira Miranda
The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDRP) recently handed over a P4.1 million greenhouse and storage facility for potato planting materials to a farmer cooperative in Benguet in the Cordillera region.
Elvy Taquio-Estacio of the PRDP-CAR Information, Advocacy, Communication, and Education Unit said in a text message on Thursday that the facility was turned over to the Benguet-based SRT La Trinidad Cooperative on Jan. 11.
This completes the P12.28 million assistance of the DA-PRDP to the cooperative.
Additionally, the cooperative entered into an agreement with Benguet State University (BSU) for the purpose of transferring technology related to the propagation of high-quality planting materials.
It is the region's second facility, established with the assistance of the farmers' cooperative, to address the use of recycled and imported planting materials by producing potato tuberlets for planting.
The SRT cooperative's potato tuberlets production and marketing sub-project, which received initial assistance from the DA-PRDP in March 2021 and is valued at P12.28 million, is co-financed by the World Bank, the national government through the DA, the municipal local government of La Trinidad, and the cooperative through equity in kind.
Estacio added that a similar facility was also established with the assistance of the DA-PRDP in Bauko, Mountain Province in 2021.
“White potato is one of the priority commodities of Benguet aside from coffee, aromatic and pigmented rice, ube, and highland vegetables. White potato is also one of the priority commodities of Mt. Province," she said.
Estacio said that the enterprise is expected to boost potato production in addition to providing additional employment opportunities.
Estacio expressed gratitude to DA-PRDP, the MLGU, the contractor, and the cooperative members for their contributions from the planning stage to approval and implementation.
He also thanked the Benguet State University's Northern Philippine Root Crops Research and Training Center (NPRCRTC) for providing technical assistance to this enterprise.
“We will strive to implement this enterprise for it to flourish and ultimately benefit everyone,” said Langpaoen.
Mayor Romeo Salda of La Trinidad stated in his message that farmers will no longer rely on imported potato planting materials due to the development of facilities that will close the gap.
“Once you start operating your business, your focus should not solely be on the financial aspect but the quality service that you are going to give,” Mayor Salda said.
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