THE country’s first agro-industrial business corridor and seed technology park will soon be put up with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Department of Agriculture and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
DA Secretary William Dar said the project with an initial funding of P285 million will be established at the New Clark City Agro-Industrial Business Corridor (ABC) and National Seed Technology Park (NSTP).
During the signing of the MOA, the BCDA was represented by its President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vivencio Dizon.
Dar disclosed the project would lay the foundation for the future of Philippine agriculture.
“We envision NSTP to be the core base for the country’s modern crop industry, one that will take us one step towards industrialization and modernization of the agriculture industry,” he said.
Dar added that the historic project when properly planned, supported, and funded, would make it possible for the agriculture sector to unleash its potential as a major pillar of the Philippine economy.
For his part, Dizon committed the completion of the project by 2022.
“With the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte and the vision of Secretary Dar, this is a legacy project that will outlast all of us. The ABC is critical not just for Clark, but also for the entire country for agricultural sustainability and resiliency,” Dizon said.
The NSTP is the first activity under the DA and BCDA partnership to establish the country’s first ABC at a 50-hectare area located at The New Clark City. Phase 1 of the project will cover a seven-hectare portion of the property to be operated by DA for the NSTP components such as seed laboratory, incubation hubs, machinery shed, soil and water chemistry laboratory, and other support facilities.
BCDA will develop the second phase of the project covering 43 hectares for commercial components and purposes for agribusiness developments including downstream and upstream linkages in the agricultural value chains.
During the event, Dar also shared his vision and plans for the Philippine Future Agriculture Research Institute that could be developed at the technological park and innovation hub in Morong, Bataan.
“The lessons of the pandemic singled out the agriculture sector as a driver of economic recovery. The sector will not only produce food and better incomes for farmers, it will also generate employment and spark entrepreneurship in the most sustainable and inclusive ways possible,” Dar said highlighting the importance of the facilities such as the ABC, NSTP, and the national research institute for future agriculture.
Also present during the partnership signing were Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero, DA Central Luzon Regional Field Office Director Crispulo Bautista, BCDA Vice President for Business Development Arrey Perez, and DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes.