What's so good about agri-business hubs?

Published July 28, 2021, 4:13 PM

by Betheena Unite

A community that has its own agri-industrial business hub would be able to address various farmers’ and consumers’ concerns, all at the same time.

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

Dr. Fermin D. Adriano, who serves as Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar’s senior policy adviser, reckoned that agri-industrial business hubs were meant to provide the public with better access to cheaper farm and fishery products.

At the same time, these hubs will give local farmers a venue to sell their produce within their own towns or provinces–thus eliminating the multiple layers needed in transporting goods to major markets like Divisoria and Balintawak in Metro Manila.

The establishment of agri-industrial business hubs will also render useless the middlemen who are notorious for shortchanging farmers, leaving them with poor sales.

“Mahalagang mahalaga yun para mapababa mo yung presyo ng produkto kasi ang problema lagi sa atin ay yung middleman e. Kung meron kang tinatawag na agri-business hub puwede mo doon dalhin, doon direkta na bibili na ng mga consumers (Agri-business hubs are very important in lowering the prices of products because the common problem is the middlemen. If we have these hubs, farmers can bring their produce there where the consumers may directly buy),” Adriano explained.

The policy adviser noted that consumers outside and within Metro Manila still only rely on goods brought to the aforementioned major markets.

This is why the DA needs to create additional hubs in Metro Manila and nearby provinces like Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, and Rizal so that farmers will have an additional venue to sell their goods. At the same time, the communities will have a more accessible market, he pointed out.

“Yun ang problema natin kaya dumadami ang middleman kasi kunwari galing ng Mindoro dadalhin sa Divisoria. Yung mga mamimili pupunta ulit sa Divisoria tapos dadalhin sa center nila kunwari sa Calamba, yung mga mamimili bibili sa Calamba. Ang daming layers e, kaya pagdating sa consumers ang taas ng presyo (That’s the reason why we have a lot of middlemen because for example, goods from Mindoro will be brought to Divisoria. Then, buyers from Calamba will go to Divisoria to buy goods for their centers meant for consumers in Calamba. There are many layers, this is why when the goods reach the centers, the prices are so high),” Adriano said.

On July 21, the department bared that it will establish an Agri-industrial Business Corridor (ABC) for freshwater aquaculture and urban farming in Taguig City that will house several facilities such as an aquaculture park, fish and food markets, fish landing wharf and cold storage facility, and water hyacinth composting facility, among others.

Taguig’s agri-industrial business hub will be the country’s second agri-industrial center, next to the New Clark City hub.