DA calls for more cold storage facilities

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
DA calls for more cold storage facilities

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture has underscored the need to establish more cold storage facilities in the country  in a bid to reduce post-harvest losses and improve farmers’ income.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar is urging the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines to partner with the DA, local government units and farmers’ groups in putting up more cold storage facilities to maintain the freshness and quality of farm and fishery products.

The Philippines remains lacking in terms of storage facilities and other infrastructure which result in high spoilage of farm produce.

“With more cold storage facilities located near major farm production areas, trading centers, livestock slaughterhouses and poultry dressing facilities, fishing grounds and municipal fish ports, we will be able to reduce post-harvest losses by at most 35 percent that could be added up to the national food supply, thus bringing down prices for the benefit of millions of Filipinos,” he said.

“With access to modern refrigeration and storage facilities, farmers and fishers could sell their quality vegetables, meat and marine products at better prices to consumers,” Dar said.

Dar also instructed the DA-National Meat and Inspection Service to revive the unfinished slaughterhouse and cold storage projects in Iloilo and Batangas.

DA-NMIS  partnered with CCAP in a “pork-in-a-box” project that entails packaging frozen pork from Mindanao and selling these in Metro Manila.

He also asked the DA-Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Service to partner with the Food Terminal Inc. and look into refurbishing and modernizing the latter’s cold storage systems in partnership with CCAP.

Dar plans to revive and transform FTI into an integrated modern farmers’ trading center, wholesaling and processing farm and fishery products from Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Bicol regions for the benefit of consumers in Metro Manila and urban centers in Luzon.

CCAP and its 130 members store about 450,000 metric tons of various food products annually.

Together, they have a fleet of 10,000 refrigerated vehicles and containers transporting perishable goods across the country.

CCAP expects the cold chain industry to grow by nine percent annually,  largely due to increasing population and consumers buying more fresh and frozen produce from supermarkets and e-commerce platforms.             

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