Waste to energy project leads economic enterprise


Waste Management System, post the biggest challenge faced by farmers and the management of Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC), the country’s biggest vegetable trading facility, generating millions in gross receipts in span of eight years, since it started in 2015. In fact, in 2023, the facility posted a total gross receipt of P42.621 million and earned P8.4 million in income. Several farmers in the center shared the hassle of managing tons of their waste
trimmings due to lack of composting facility in the multimillion trading complex, inside a four- hectare area.

A total of 168 stalls are in placed which dictates that there is a high volume of waste collected everyday in the center.
“Nu dadduma mapan dita kanal, linisan min tu manen”, said one of the few interviewed farmers. She shared that because of no available composting area, cluttered vegetables trimming caused by item packing, often gets into the center’s drainage. As a solution, the farmers regularly rent a truck to collect their vegetable trimmings. Cost of per sack of waste collected range from P100-P300. It was learned that a farmer spent an average P30k -P50k monthly in the collection of vegetable trimmings.

And the cost (collection of veg trimmings) was never factored in the price of produce they sell, they emphasized. To lessen the burden of payment, farmers try their best to collect waste trimmimgs themselves, and disposed properly, regardless its costly as it is done in daily basis. Octavia Ablos, Extension Service Unit Head of BAPTC, admitted the absence of cleaners for the commodities of the farmers. Ablos said a composting area has already been proposed
October of last year.

Estimated implementation is uncertain yet as the area still needs to be identified by Benguet State University (BSU) and be approved by Project Steering Board (PSB), the highest policy making body chaired by Department of
Agriculture (DA) Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel “Once approved, it will also undergo government process so medyo matagal pa”, Ablos added. Still on the issue, Ablos said, originally, it was agreed , vegetables should have been
trimmed before it gets to the facility , yet it is not followed, the BAPTC official lamented.

The management strongly relies on the “Whole Back Policy” for the facilities’ cleanliness, on which the farmers have to abide. “We implement the whole back policy, ibig sabihin pag nag trim na si farmer ng kanyang repolyo, yung trimmings niya ibabalik niya sa sasakyan and then ibabalik niya sa production area”, said Ablos. Nonetheless, Ablos
assured that the center is being strictly maintained by the daily scheduled cleaning of the general services of BAPTCProject Management Office.

Shine Grace B. Estigoy-UB Intern/ ABN

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