TAGUIG CITY is being evaluated as a potential agri-industrial site because its location on the shore of Laguna de Bay could make it a landing spot for produce grown in Metro Manila’s southern and eastern hinterlands.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said Monday that the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) current partnership with the city could be a launch pad for further cooperation in developing agri-industrial operations, to process food and add value to the harvests of farmers and fisherfolk in Rizal, Laguna and beyond.

On Monday the DA launched an agricultural assistance program to enhance the city’s urban food security and nutrition.

Mr. Dar said the project could serve as the initial stage for the establishment of an agri-industrial center.

“Farmers and fisherfolk from Rizal and Laguna could come directly to Taguig using their boats to bring their produce and see to it that we have all the cold storage, warehouses, and of course the markets for people to (visit) in a big way,” Mr. Dar said.

Mr. Dar said the program will also assist vulnerable communities and help develop Taguig’s urban ecological management.

According to Mr. Dar, agri-industrial sites are expected to provide facilities, capital, and production know-how to small farmers, while also boosting their productivity and generating jobs to strengthen the economy.

The DA is also hoping to develop New Clark City in Tarlac province as an agri-industrial center. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave