PALAYAN CITY — The city government has developed a trading facility for farmers to get closer to markets, where they can sell their produce.
Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas said the facility would also encourage farmers to stick to farming.
“We need to stop farmers from leaving their farms,” the mayor said during the Aug. 28 groundbreaking ceremony of Palayan City Farmers’ Trading Center. This P80-Million project is a joint venture of the local government and First Asia Agri-Industrial Resources Corp. (FAAIRC) headed by businessman Albert Lim.
“The high cost of food production discourages many farmers,” said Ernesto Perlas, a vegetable farmer and head of Aktibong Magsasaka ng Palayan City.
“First of all, we deal with the high cost of inputs, as prices for seedlings, fertilizers, and pesticides continue to spiral,” said Perlas, who also heads Calamansi Growers Association here.
“On top of these costs, middlemen take most of the profits compared to food producers,” he added.
The trading center on a 3-hectare lot near the public market in Barangay Atate has initially launched 15 years ago but was not pursued.
Cuevas, a first-time mayor, said she planned to harness all “white elephants” in the city.
The trading facility would bring farmers closer to their buyers, therefore, it can reduce transportation costs and reduce the need for middlemen.
Cuevas said a farmer spends P300 to pay tricycles to haul produce from Palayan to Cabanatuan City.
The city agriculture office also said all of Palayan’s 19 villages were categorized as agricultural. Palayan has 2,505 ha planted to rice, 115.75 ha to corn and 834.55 ha to vegetables.
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