THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it hopes to establish three agricultural terminals around Metro Manila which will consolidate produce from the hinterland and reduce the gap between farmgate and retail prices.

“We plan to establish these (agricultural) terminals around Metro Manila and we’re thinking of three of them now,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said at a briefing in the City of Manila on Wednesday. He said the terminals will address “the big gap between farmgate and retail prices.”

Mr. Pascual did not say where the terminals will be located.

The intent is to make the linkage between farms and consumers more direct by making available “terminals where farmers can bring their produce,” Mr. Pascual said.

According to Mr. Pascual, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently finished a study containing recommendations on establishing terminals for agricultural goods.

“We are assuming responsibility for implementing this because logistics, as an industry, falls within the mandate of the DTI. The purpose of the ADB study is to be able to benchmark with other countries… we need to study our own unique situation here and adapt whatever they have included in their recommendations,” Mr. Pascual said.

“We need to smoothen the supply chain (to make) delivery would be fast and efficient,” he said, thereby reducing logistics costs. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave