CLARK International Airport Corp. (CIAC) said it will build a $152-million agriculture trading hub inside the Clark civil aviation complex, and expects it to become the largest food hub in the Philippines. 

The project, to be known as Clark National Food Terminal, will be structured as a joint venture, the CIAC said in a statement on Thursday.

CIAC President Arrey Ancheta Perez said a feasibility study will be launched soon.

“Then we will start exploratory talks with prospective investors for a joint venture partnership. We’re looking forward to project completion in two years’ time,” Mr. Perez said.

“This is a huge infrastructure investment but will serve as a major support pillar to the National Government’s efforts to boost the agricultural economy,” he added.

According to Mr. Perez, the food trading hub will rise on a 64-hectare site near Clark International Airport.

It is also near the sites of cargo companies FedEx and UPS and will be linked to the railway to Subic seaport.

The hub will offer services such as research and quality control, warehousing, food processing, international shipping, marketing services, and domestic and international trading.

“It is aligned with the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to place food security at the forefront of the national agenda,” Mr. Perez said.

He said that Mr. Marcos named food security as a top priority at the World Economic Forum, repeating the message in his pre-departure remarks before flying to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in the US.

“The project concept is on point and aligns with the Marcos administration’s marching orders to give top priority to agriculture development and to help develop that value chain, particularly in the advancement of the aquaculture and agriculture industries,” Mr. Perez added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile