Piñol eyes new Farmers’ Trading Center as Erap clears Divisoria’s streets
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol is planning to establish a new farmers’ trading center in Metro Manila after Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered the streets of Divisoria cleared of vegetable traders.
Piñol has received reports that vegetable farmers from Cordillera are concerned about losing money and are bracing themselves for a crisis because Manila no longer allows the display and sale of vegetables along the streets of Divisoria and vegetable traders have reduced their purchases from highland farmers.
“As Secretary of Agriculture, I will respect the decision of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to clear Divisoria’s streets of vegetable traders. He has every right to do that,” Piñol said. “While this development may initially be considered a crisis especially by our vegetable farmers in the Cordilleras, I look at this as a development which offers windows of opportunities.”
Piñol has ordered Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano to look for a government property in Metro Manila where a farmers’ trading center can be set up that will serve as a delivery point for all farm products from the provinces where wholesalers and traders can connect with farmers.
“If the space which the DA could locate would allow it, we could even put up cold storage facilities and chillers so that meat, fruits and vegetables would have longer shelf life,” Piñol said. “Now I have all the reason to pursue that long nurtured dream of a trading center which could finally allow provincial food producers to have access to the market.”