MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will put up the first Agri-industrial Business Corridor (ABC) for freshwater aquaculture and urban farming in Taguig City, in partnership with the city government and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).
DA Secretary William Dar, Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano, and LLDA General Manager Jaime Medina on Tuesday forged an agreement, starting the 10-year project, with initial funding of PHP300 million under the Duterte administration's Bayanihan 2.
"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.
The project is the second 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).
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.
DA said 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.
Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, on the other hand, will build a fish landing wharf or jetty, with warehouse and cold storage facility, while the Bureau of Plant Industry will undertake a mushroom button production facility and an integrated commercial bamboo project.
To complete the project, 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.
The DA-BFAR said it will also establish a satellite office in the project site to provide technical assistance, conduct training, and help organize and cluster existing fisherfolk organizations.
Once the facilities are completed, the 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 the 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," Dar said. (PNA)