A SECOND business corridor for agricultural industry companies is set to be built in Taguig City, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

On July 20, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar signed an agreement with Taguig City Mayor Lino Edgardo S. Cayetano and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Jaime C. Medina to signify their collaboration in the project, which has an initial budget of P300 million.

Taguig City site will be the first agri-industrial corridor dedicated to freshwater aquaculture and urban farming. It will become the country’s second agri-industrial hub overall, joining the one located in New Clark City.

“In New Clark City… the National Seed Technology Park will rise in partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA),” Mr. Dar said during the signing.

“We are privileged to partner with the LLDA and City of Taguig for this freshwater aquaculture park and urban farming project that will provide Metro Manila consumers with adequate and reasonably-priced food, particularly bangus and tilapia, (as well as) mushrooms and vegetables,” he added.

Under the joint project, the LLDA will allot two hectares of land along C-6 for the construction of several facilities, and a 15-hectare lakeshore area for the development of an aquaculture park and for the use of cooperatives and private enterprises.  

“We envision the Taguig agri-business corridor, along with the nearby Food Terminal, Inc., as part of the agri-industrial and food market hub that will serve the southeast quadrant of Metro Manila,” Mr. Dar said.

Once the facilities are completed, the city of Taguig will be in charge of managing and maintaining the site and in ensuring sustainable operations for the 10-year duration of the project.

Taguig will also provide funding, equipment, and personnel for the establishment of an access road from the highway to the site, while being also responsible for building agriculture, lake and river management, and environment and natural resources offices in the site.

DA agencies engaged in the Taguig project are the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

BFAR will establish a satellite office at the site to conduct training and help organize fishing organizations.

“BFAR will also 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,” the DA said.

The DA said PFDA will construct a fish landing wharf with a warehouse and cold storage facility, while the BPI will implement an integrated commercial bamboo project and build a button mushroom production facility. The BSWM will establish a water hyacinth composting facility and a bamboo oxygen park.

“While we maintain a sustainable environment in the Laguna Lake, this Taguig agri-industrial hub could provide part of the food requirement of Metro Manila. Hence, for this project, we have to perform a balancing act. We need to produce enough food and see to it that fishing cages must be properly laid out so these do not contribute to the pollution of the lake,” Mr. Dar said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave