Agri-industrial hub to rise in Taguig; DA chief explains how it will benefit Metro folk

Published July 21, 2021, 12:26 PM

by Betheena Unite

An agri-industrial hub that will offer reasonably-priced food items to Metro Manila consumers will soon be established in Taguig City, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

The Agri-industrial Business Corridor (ABC) for freshwater aquaculture and urban farming will be the country’s second agri-industrial center, next to the New Clark City hub.

According to DA Secretary William Dar, the ABC will provide consumers with adequate and reasonably-priced food, particularly bangus and tilapia, and vegetables like mushrooms.

“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,” Dar said.

It will be established in partnership with the city government of Taguig and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA). It is a 10-year project with an initial funding of P300 million under the Bayanihan 2 law, he said.

Under the joint project, the LLDA will provide two hectares of land along C-6, where several facilities will be constructed. Adjacent to this is a proposed 15-hectare lakeshore area, where the aquaculture park will be developed and opened to cooperatives and private enterprises.

Four attached agencies of the DA are engaged in the project.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will provide technical assistance and inputs, including bangus, tilapia, shrimp, and ayungin fingerlings for the floating fish cages that will be installed at the 15-hectare aquaculture park. The cages will be maintained by Taguig fisherfolk and members of the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (CFARMC).

The Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) will construct a fish landing wharf with warehouse and cold storage facility while the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will undertake a mushroom button production facility and an integrated commercial bamboo project.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) will put up a water hyacinth composting facility to support urban farming and a bamboo oxygen park to promote sustainable production and outdoor recreation.

A satellite office within the project site will also be put in place to provide technical assistance, conduct training, 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 assessment.

Dar also proposed to establish a fish and food market near the Taguig ABC where fisherfolk could directly sell their goods to consumers.

Once the facilities are completed, the Taguig City government will manage and maintain the agri-industrial hub and ensure its sustainable operation for the 10-year duration of the project. It will also provide necessary funding, equipment, and manpower for the development of the access road from the highway to the site.

It will also construct agriculture, lake and river management, and environment and natural resources offices there.

“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,” Dar said.