Agro-industrial center to soon rise at New Clark City
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is partnering with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to establish the country’s first “agri-industrial business corridor” at the New Clark City in Pampanga province.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Thursday that the project was in line with President Duterte’s directive to decongest the metropolis and disperse industries to other regions and provide more opportunities to rural folk.
Dar added that New Clark City has the potential to jump-start and sustain economic growth in the new business landscape reshaped by the new coronavirus pandemic due to its vast agricultural resources and strategic location that grants access to markets in both northern and southern Luzon, including Metro Manila.
It will also provide employment to those who have been displaced by restrictions caused by COVID-19.
“The agro-industrial business corridor or ABC that will rise at the New Clark City will be a holistic approach, which aims to integrate smallholder farmers by providing them access to resources, including state-of-the-art production technology, capital and value-adding facilities,” Dar said.
BCDA vice president Arrey Perez and Agriculture Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Caballero already inspected a 30-hectare site in the city, where modern agribusiness and multipurpose facilities, including a national seed technology park, will be put up.
Dar earlier said in an interview with the Inquirer that the national seed park will be the first facility to be put up in the hub, with a budget of P200 million. However, the secretary said the government has yet to finalize the budget for the entire project.
ABC will complement the planned Clark Fresh Market to be constructed at Clark Civil Aviation Complex. The market will include an integrated postharvest facility that will cater to niche markets such as organic produce, halal products and premium quality food products.
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