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Agri-Trading Transformation thru Management of Change
(The Dalaguete Experience)

The undisputed Vegetable Basket of Cebu and its official Summer Capital – these are two designations that almost always come to one’s mind to those who have already come to know and visit the Municipality of Dalaguete; and starting this June, 2015, some pleasant changes await first-timers and regular-goers alike who find themselves allured by the opportunity of availing farm-fresh vegetables at cheaper than the usual retail price at the erstwhile Mantalongon Vegetable Trading Center (MVTC), now known as the Dalaguete Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (DAPTC).

Patterned after the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura ng Quezon (SPPAQ) in Quezon Province where then Congressman and now Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala hailed from, the imposing and newly-completed 17.568-million peso DAPTC facility is more ways maverick of a venture than one. The town’s Chief Executive, Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante, pointed out at least three trailblazing agri-trading innovations now introduced and centred at the DAPTC under his so-called “necessary and long overdue management of change”, namely:

1. Installation of an Electronic Price Monitoring Board at the DAPTC
Carbon Market in Cebu City has the lion’s share of the town’s daily vegetable supply, thus, it has become the barometer at which the vegetable pricing at the DAPTC is based. The absence of a real-time vegetable price monitoring system at the center somehow placed the town’s farmers at the disadvantageous end of price bargaining. This drawback consequently creates a ripple effect to the town’s other satellite vegetable trading posts which generally based their pricing at the DAPTC. Its newly-installed 849-thousand peso Electronic Price Monitoring Board is seen to rectify this information barrier, showcasing in the process the town’s strategic position as the foremost vegetable trading auction market where merchants and farmers strike a fair deal. DAP-TC-Primer-01
Grab of the Electronic Price Monitoring Board
2. Packaging of  High Value Crops (HVCs) Into Handy Biodegradable Plastic 
Three of the four most prevalent crops available anytime of the year in Dalaguete are the leafy ones: spring onion, cabbage, and pechay. Unfortunately, they are also the most vulnerable to post-harvest losses due to improper handling and contagious rotting. Packaging them into five-kilogram and ten-kilogram biodegradable plastic wraps and stacking them into plastic crates in the manner that poultry are transported into the market is seen not only to drastically reduce the volume of vegetable-related garbage at the Carbon Market but to significantly resolve as well the transportation-related post-harvest losses of leafy vegetables and other HVCs.Packaging of High Value Crops (HVCs) Into Handy Biodegradable Plastic Wraps DAP-TC-Primer-02
Market-Bound Newly-Harvested Leafy Vegetables 
3. Establishment of Strategically-Situated Pick-Up Points (PUP)
PUPs, which stand for either “Pick-UPoint” or “Pang-uma moUswag sa Panaghiusa (Agriculture to Prosper thru Unity)”, are facilities where vegetable harvesting end and vegetable trading begin. Unlike rice and corn which are stored in a barn upon harvest, vegetables are harvested and transported to the DAPTC within the next 24 hours, hence the need for a well-roofed structure to shield them from the scorching heat or the drenching rain while awaiting hauling. Sorting, weighing, and packaging of HVCs into biodegradable plastic wraps are also done at the PUP. There will be 10 such PUPs in strategic areas in 5 years time, with the pilot PUP in Sitio Sigpit (Grand China) in Mantalongon commencing operation alongside the DAPTC. DAP-TC-Primer-03
Prototype of the Proposed Pick-Up Point 

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