N FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Central Luzon Trading Post which sells fresh and affordable agricultural products is starting to gain popularity among Kapampangans and people in nearby areas since it re-opened in September.
Located at the former transport terminal and Salilungan Center along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (formerly Gapan-Olongapo Road) in Barangay San Juan here, the trading post is getting the attention of market-goers even from neighboring places because of the wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits coming from as far as the highlands of Luzon.
Rhea Mendoza, a resident of Barangay Dolores, this city, said the trading post provides easy market access for good-quality but low priced agricultural products.
“Since it was re-opened last month, regular kaming pumupunta sa trading post during weekends. Fresh na at mura pa (We regularly visit the trading post during weekends. Fresh and yet cheap),” she said in an interview on Tuesday.
Likewise, Francis Cayabyab of Mexico town, this province, said the trading post provides him convenience in buying their weekly supply of vegetables and fruits.
“After my office work, I drop by at the trading post. Mas convenient at saka nakakatulong pa tayo sa mga farmers (More convenient and also we can help our farmers),” he said.
Farmer-members of the Bosigan Multipurpose Cooperative of Mankayan, Benguet, are among those selling highland vegetables at the trading post.
Regina Lodias, manager of Bosigan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, earlier said that the trading post is a big help to their 103 farmer-members.
She said it allows the farmers to sell their produce directly to the buyers without the middlemen.
The Central Luzon Trading Post also known as the Food Terminal, is one of the major socio-economic recovery projects of the government through the Department of Agriculture, Provincial Government of Pampanga, City Government of San Fernando, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in partnership with the local farmers from the highlands of Luzon.
DA Regional Director Crispulo Bautista Jr., in a statement, said the project aims to directly engage the local farmers in the market and to “increase the income of farmers and significantly reduce the price of food commodities for the consumers”.
The establishment of the trading post for agricultural products was pushed by the provincial government of Pampanga to help local farmers recover from losses due to high production costs and restricted mobilization caused by localized lockdowns.
“Farmers, including fishpond operators, are extremely affected in terms of mobilization of their produce to different markets. This prompted the provincial government to find ways and pushes for setting up a trading post for them,” Governor Dennis Pineda earlier said.
Aside from fresh highland vegetables and fruits, different varieties of plants such as potted Malaysian mums, cactus, and succulents will also be available at the trading post starting this Friday until Sunday.
Based on the latest price list posted in the Central Luzon Trading Post social media account, the potted Malaysian Mums can be bought at PHP190 to PHP250; cactus, PHP100; and succulents, PHP160.
Buyers can also make pre-orders and reservations.
The trading post is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and offers agricultural produce at wholesale and retail prices.
Source: Philippines News Agency