The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service’s (USDA/FAS) recently announced the launch of a new Food for Progress project called the Philippines Cold Chain Project (PCCP), aimed at helping Filipino farmers earn more income by increasing productivity and food safety while reducing losses.The project will be implemented in the Caraga Region, with the four-year project expected to impact 979,000 people directly.
The PCCP will work with horticulture, meat, and fish sectors that can benefit from a cold chain, or temperature-controlled, supply system by building effective cold chains makes it easier to produce safer food, and safer food means an increase in income for farmers and improved nutrition for families. Higher-quality, higher-value agricultural products will be able to compete in new markets as businesses and consumers demand products meeting international-quality standards.
The Caraga Region and its five provinces are considered by many the future breadbasket for the Philippines, specifically because of their ability to supply urban centers like Manila or Cebu. The region is blessed with abundant resources, fertile lands, and diverse and attractive ecotourism sites, yet Caraga remains one of the poorest regions in the country.
Strengthening national cold-chain and post-harvest infrastructure are high priorities for both the USDA and the Philippine Department of Agriculture. PCCP will also collaborate with other key organizations such as: World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP), Caraga High Value Vegetable Cluster Inc (CHiVVeCI), First Integrated Credit Cooperative (FICCO), and East West Seeds and South East Asia Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC).
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