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Japan investors look into Benguet vegetables for export

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Japanese investors came to this municipality on February 15 to look for possible sources of highland vegetables with good quality which they are willing to buy soon.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala joined the Japanese investors to the La Trinidad Trading Post to witness the existing trading system in the locality. Accordingly, the investors had a positive reaction when they saw the volume involved in the trading system.

Among the vegetables possible for export to Japan include carrots, raddish, beans and many others.

As of press time, there is no definite amount of investment or volume of supply that is involved based on the initial talks of the investors with Sec. Alcala.

“Since it is their first time to witness the trading system here, we cannot determine yet the amount of investment or the volume of supply that they want to deal with. Let’s expect that they will not acquire a huge volume instantly. We want to make sure that we are offering them better quality of goods and services compared to other countries. The good thing is, they are directly coordinating with the Office of the Secretary,” Alcala explained.

Currently, these Japanese investors dealt with other countries for their vegetable supply. Accordingly, they are not satisfied with the quality of vegetables especially on its pesticide residue.

This concern is now being addressed by the DA through its pursuance of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).  According to DA-CAR Regional Director Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina, the department is working hand-in-hand with farmers to help them be certified.

“Since GAP Certification is procedural, we are conducting all throughout assistance to farmers. After the trainings that these farmers have enjoined, their farms are now ready for field inspection,” Sta. Catalina added.

Aside from Japan, the DA is also arranging deals with other countries including Dubai and Singapore. In Dubai, chayote, due to its adaptive characteristic, is considered a high value crop which posts a good deal to the Benguet province once investment is assured. //AMB

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