The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) have sealed the deal for the construction of the Philippines’ second Agri-Industrial Business Corridor (ABC), which will be dedicated to freshwater aquaculture products as well as the yield from urban farming.

A statement showed that Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano, and LLDA General Manager Jaime Medina have already forged the agreement that will signal the start of the 10-year partnership.

It was just last year when DA started the ABC project, which targets to build state-of-the-art agricultural hubs and value-adding facilities across different parts of the country.

At the time, the agency announced that after New Clark City, which will host the country’s first ABC, Taguig would be the next potential location for ABC. This, since the city is strategically near Laguna Lake, the third-largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.

Dar said the ABC in Taguig, which will receive initial funding of P300 million under the Duterte administration’s Bayanihan 2, will serve as a freshwater aquaculture park and will include an urban farming component.

He said the facility should be able to provide Metro Manila consumers with adequate and reasonably-priced food, particularly bangus and tilapia. Mushrooms and vegetables will also be produced in the facility.

Under the joint project, the LLDA will provide two hectares of land along C-6, where several facilities will be constructed, and an adjacent 15-hectare lakeshore area, where the aquaculture park will be developed and opened to cooperatives and private enterprises.

Four DA agencies are engaged in the Taguig project, namely Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

BFAR, for its part, will provide technical assistance and inputs to the project, including bangus, tilapia, shrimp and ayungin fingerlings for the floating fish cages that will be installed at the 15-hectare aquaculture park.

PFDA, on the other hand, will construct a fish landing wharf or jetty in the area, with a warehouse and cold storage facility.

Meanwhile, BPI will undertake a mushroom button production facility and an integrated commercial bamboo project, while BSWM will put up a water hyacinth composting facility and a bamboo oxygen park to support urban farming and promote sustainable production and outdoor recreation, respectively.

The DA will also establish a satellite office in the project site to provide technical assistance, conduct training, and help organize and cluster existing fisherfolk organizations.

Once the facilities are completed, the Taguig City government will manage and maintain the agro-industrial hub, and ensure its sustainable operation for the 10-year duration of the project.

It will also provide the necessary funding, equipment, and manpower for the development of the access road from the highway to the site.

Source: Manila Bulletin (