The Benguet AgriPinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) proposes the establishment of microbiology and pesticide laboratories to assure the food safety of highland vegetables.
This was put forward by Dr. Violeta Salda, BAPTC Chief Operating Officer, during the Project Steering Board meeting last October 29, 2020, at the DA Conference Hall, Guisad, Baguio City.
The board meeting was chaired by DA Secretary William Dar and with the participation of the Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey, Farmers’ Representative Joaquin Geronimo Depalog, Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, Benguet Congressman Representative Lee Anthony Kuan, and BSU OIC- President Danilo Bose.
The laboratory establishment aims to protect the human health and the environment by identifying safe, quality, and healthy agricultural food products and by fostering-reduced-pesticide use as mentioned in the proposal.
Dr. Salda said that the BAPTC-Microbiology Lab and services will conduct a microbial analysis of all fresh crops to assure the highest possible food quality and safety standards.
It will cater to microbiology analysis services for foodborne pathogen detection and pesticide residue lab for pesticide residue evaluation and profiling.
The request totals Php29M which includes the infrastructure establishment, purchase of laboratory equipment, and its operation expenses. This is forwarded to the Department of Agriculture.
Based on the BAPTC January to September 2020 data, 30% of the highland vegetables in the Cordillera are being traded at BAPTC.
With this high volume of vegetables, the proposal will ensure the safety and health of the welfare of consuming highland vegetables traded in BAPTC. //