Aming to provide assistance to farmers and fisherfolk to increase their meager income in the production of agri-fishery commodities and have a ready market for their products, the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 1 headed by Ms. Christine De Leon (AMAD Chief – DA RFO 1) is tasked to spearhead the establishment of the 13th Municipal Food Terminal Project at Barangay Poblacion Sur, Caba, La Union.
For some, number 13 might be perceived as an unlucky number but for the municipality of Caba, it is a bearer of luck for them as the 13th MFT of the region was launched in their area on October 9, 2013. The launching ceremonies was attended and supported by members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Caba namely Hon. Ronnie Mangasem, Hon. Joseph Maglaya, Atty. Elmer Sobejano, Engr. Patricio Dulay, Hon. Leopoldo D. Castigo and Hon. Fatima Fesalbon. DA-RFO I RTD for Operations, Dr. Paz M. Mones, together with Ms. Myrna O. Picazo, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist of La Union) and AMAD Chief Ms. Christine De Leon led the ceremonies.
In Region 1 alone, twenty (20) Municipal Food Terminal Projects and 19 Barangay Food Terminal Projects (BFTs) were funded by DA from 2007 to 2013. These projects were a concerted efforts of the DA-RFO 1 and LGUs and which is being implemented through a counter-parting scheme. The DA-RFO 1 provides the marketing facilities/equipment and training as a grant to proponents plus additional funding as working capital while the LGU provide the accessible site and amenities or utilities for the project.
With the establishment of Municipal Food Terminals in Region 1, increase in farmers’ income is hoped for by developing an alternative market for the farmers’ produce through direct marketing, it will ensure a stable price and supply of food commodities in the market, it will make readily available and accessible quality food products such as meat, poultry, fish and vegetables at a low price to the marginalized sector of society and it will strengthen the partnership of the different stakeholders in the delivery of basic services.
Furthermore, it will also encourage LGUs and NGOs empowerment by creating employment opportunities through livelihood and establishment of small packaging and food processing center for agri-based products so they can increase the productivity and income of the members of the cooperatives or associations and the Municipal or Barangay residents.
The 20 Municipal Food Terminal Projects in Region 1 are located at Alaminos City, Binalonan, Sta. Barbara, Mangatarem and Urbiztondo in Pangasinan; Bagulin, Naguilian, Caba and San Fernando City in La Union; Sto.Domingo, Sta.Cruz, Sugpon, Sinait and Sta. Catalina in Ilocos Sur and at Currimao, Laoag City, Pinili, Bacarra and Batac City in Ilocos Norte.####