AGRICULTURE Secretary William Dar has announced that the state-funded Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) will be subject to a spin-off into an independent entity after six years of operation.
Dar said that the move is intended to help the BAPTC operate more smoothly as it is currently “constrained by a bureaucratic government system, hindering its growth, sustainability, and profitability.”
As such, the government has decided to allow the BAPTC to corporatize into its own private entity through the spin-off process.
“With a corporate set-up, stakeholders will be able to optimize their benefits, improve the marketability of Cordillera vegetables, and provide our farmers, buyers, and traders reasonable profit for their produce. Further, it could create subsidiaries to engage in other revenue-generating enterprises,” Dar said.
The BAPTC is already eyeing the expansion of operations beyond just the trade of produce to include trading of farm equipment and supplies, agricultural and food processing equipment, to the provision of pharmaceutical supplies and loans, and even training and events.
The BAPTC, which started operations in 2015, now handles large amounts of produce, with 169,850 metric tons of vegetables going through the trading center in 2020. It has also since grown to have 40,000 stakeholders as of 2021.
From an initial investment of around P767 million, the BAPTC has provided some P16.7 billion worth of traded crops in its six years of operation, according to Violeta Salda, chief operation officer of BAPTC.