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PIA Press Release
2007/09/17

DA Bagsakan Centers to sell Mindanao fruits

Manila (17 September) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to sell Mindanao fruits at all Bagsakan Centers which aims to support farmers in selling their produce in Metro Manila.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap said that exotic fruits such as durian, mangosteen, rambutan, marang and lanzones will be soon available at DA Bagsakan centers, adding that prices will be cheaper than in the super markets.

"After our successful trail periods in the past few weeks, DA will formally launch these Mindanao fruits," Yap said.

He added that last September 15, the Mindanao Fruit Council members has sold 1.4 metric tons of durian in just two hours at the Quezon City Circle.

"Because this part of our market linkage program, a kilo of durian in QC circle was only P80, lower than super market prices of P130 to P150," Yap said.

The fruits were mainly sourced from Davao City, Kidapawan City and North Cotabato.

"This endeavor will help to prevent the spoilage of fruits in Mindanao and boost the farmers' earnings," Yap said.

He also said that the DA also plans to talk with some airfreight companies, and ask for some special rates for the commodities.

"I hope that our fruits will be included also in their priority list because we received some complaints from producers that often their products are being bumped off. I'm sure the airline companies will help us on this," he added.

Once this plan starts, Yap said that fruits will be available at Bagsakan centers all year round.

To date, the DA has already opened 9 Bagsakan centers, and 13 barangay food terminal (BFTs).

For this year, the DA is projecting a total of two million beneficiaries from the BFTs it is setting up in the rest of Metro Manila, other regions, and in the country's economic zones.

These projects are partly funded by the Japan Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers, also known as the 2KR grant, which aims to benefit Filipino farmers living below the poverty line.

Conceptualized and initiated by Yap during his first stint as DA secretary three years ago, these bagsakan centers directly link farm producers in the countryside to small wet markets in urban centers, thereby eliminating unnecessary trading layers that unduly jack up prices of agricultural produce and cut profits for small farmers and fisherfolk. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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