THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

DA, BCDA to put up “agri-industrial business corridor” at New Clark City

Author: DA Communications Group | 9 July 2020

In line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to disperse industries to the regions and decongest Metro Manila, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is partnering with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to establish the country’s first “agri-industrial business corridor” at the New Clark City.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the New Clark City has the potential to jumpstart and sustain economic growth in the “new normal” because of its vast agricultural resources and strategic location that grants access to markets in both northern and southern Luzon, including Metro Manila.

“The agro-industrial business corridor or ABC that will rise at the New Clark City will be a holistic approach, which aims to integrate smallholder farmers by providing them access to resources, including state-of-the-art production technology, capital, and value-adding facilities,” Secretary Dar said.

The establishment of ABCs in strategic areas will also help address employment challenges in the “new normal” or post-COVID-19 environment, he added.

Upon his instruction, DA Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Caballero, together with BCDA Vice President Arrey Perez, inspected a 30-hectare site at New Clark City, where the Philippines’ first ABC will be put up with modern agribusiness and multi-purpose facilities, including a national seed technology park.

The soon-to-rise ABC will complement the planned Clark Fresh Market to be constructed at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex. The market complex will have an integrated post-harvest facility, catering niche markets for organic produce, halal-certified and premium quality food products.

For his part, BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon said that the planned New Clark City Agri-industrial Business Corridor, coupled with the fresh market complex, will definitely create thousands of jobs and further expand the development of Tarlac, and adjoining provinces in central and northern Luzon.

“This agri-industrial business corridor will not only enhance the productivity of our farmers but will also boost economic activity in the region,” Dizon said, noting that the Improved connectivity infrastructure and other planned developments in New Clark City make it the best location for the ABC project.

He said they expect to start construction of the ABC building, other facilities and the national seed technology park by 2021.

Secretary Dar said the agro-industrial business corridor in New Clark City is only the start of a comprehensive national agricultural development program, noting that the entire DA family is now formulating region-specific strategies for the development of more ABCs in other conducive areas in the country.

“The agro-industrial business corridors will be linked together for better logistics and faster distribution of technology,” he added.

The DA is studying the establishment of ABCs at 12 new economic zones identified by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to entice more and bigger investments in agriculture, secretary Dar said. ###

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