The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) established the regional Local Food Terminal (LFT) worth P36.5 million in San Miguel, Iloilo and 10 Bayanihan Tipon Centers (BTC) to address the concern of Panay upland farmers on where to market their produce.

KOICA also provided 20 million loan fund that can be availed by farmer groups’ or even individual farmers through the financial partners to fund their marketing-related activities.

In the meantime, the LFT in San Miguel will serve as the regional consolidation hub for upland products from the different BTCs around the Panay.

The LFT is worth P11.8 million and includes a solar-powered cold storage facility with 12-cubic meter capacity, an office and training center, and two delivery vehicles.

KOICA’s Panay Island Upland Sustainable Rural Development Project (PIU-SRDP), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) 6, aims to empower upland communities by creating a direct link between food producers and consumers.

The provision of agribusiness financing facility is a component of the third phase of the PIU-SRDP. The credit facility will be managed by identified rural banks and cooperatives will be the financial partners for this project.

KOICA and DA 6 also put up BTCs in different areas in the region such as Libacao and Madalag in Aklan; Patnongon, Sebaste, and Tobias Fornier in Antique; Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz; and Alimodian, Lambunao, and Tubungan in Iloilo.