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“There is a high demand for processing potato among fast food chains, restaurants and hotels in the country says Joan D. Bacbac, HVCDP Regional Focal Person. Although CAR is the biggest producer of potato in the country, currently only 20-30 % of the white potato produced in CAR are processing varieties.
Given this situation, the Department of Agriculture High Value Crops Development Program (DA- HVCDP) is working with the Benguet State University Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center (BSU- NPRCRTC) on the project entitled “Commercialization and Promotion of Processing Potato Varieties Thru Rapid Multiplication Technique in Potato Growing Areas”.
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The Department of Agriculture (DA) through its High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) turned over 17.6 million pesos as financial assistance to eight municipal local government units (MLGus) and farmers organizations to construct and equip their coffee processing centers.
According to Ms. Joan D. Bacbac, HVCDP regional focal person, the processing centers will enhance and improve the quality of the products of the following recipients: (1) Kapangan Arabica Coffee Producers Association of Kapangan, Benguet; (2) Kibungan Arabica Coffee Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Kibungan, Benguet; (3) La Trinidad Arabica Coffee Practitioners Association (LATACPA) of La Trinidad, Benguet; (4) Sablan MLGU; Bakun MLGU; (5) CORDI Kape, Lagawe , Ifugao; (6) Nalyawan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Tanudan, Kalinga; and (7) Sabangan Arabica Coffee Multi-Purpose Cooperative Association of Sabangan, Mountain Province.
Aside from the construction of coffee processing centers, HVCDP also supported the construction of a root crops chips processing facility in Pilar, Abra Province , a root crops flour processing facility in Bakun, Benguet, and vegetable flour processing facility in Kabayan, Benguet. The processing facilities are Php 2 million each.
Ms. Bacbac said that about ten (10) village level processing facilities have been established in the region since 2014. She encouraged accredited farmer groups to submit project proposals geared towards increasing productivity and expansion of high value crops in the region.// Danica Tomin