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Philippines to build economic zone for food firms

Philippines to build economic zone for food firms

MANILA: The Republic of the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Tuesday that its investment arm, the Board of the National Development Company (NDC), approved plans for development of the Davao Food Complex, intended to serve as an economic zone for food-related industries.

The 25-hectacre site in Brgy “will include food processing centers, cold storage, and warehousing facilities with tourism attractions that will showcase the processed agricultural products of the region,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

The project is also slated to include agri-aqua culture for ornamental fish and hatchery facility, a technology and business incubation facility, and a water filtration and bottling facility for portable water-oriented firms. 20 hectares will be used for the food park, and 5 hectares will be developed into the Davao Agri-Trading Center (DATC), which is presently under construction, DTI said.

Creating the economic zone and processing facilities “can reduce post-harvest losses and spoilage by as much as 20%, valued at P240 million per year,” said Sec. Lopez. “It will also generate employment for about 3300 employees based on 220 per hectare labor force density in industrial estates.”

PTI said other benefits from the project could be an increase in the value of productive land around the site, reducing the need to import fruits and vegetables, a boost in tax revenue, and ensuring good prices and quality products make its way to local markets.

“Davao City and nearby areas have shown tremendous agricultural potentials that we should transform into the region’s core strength,” said the secretary. The government estimates that local agricultural producers will supply the site with about 60,000 MT of fruits and vegetables annually.

With the construction of the site, officials also are seeking to build infrastructure like roads, power, and communications in the area.