General Santos City has been hailed as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines because of its bountiful catch of Yellow Fin Tuna across the Sarangani Bay. GenSan as a highly urbanized city in Region 12 serves as the core of the region's trade and industry in Southern Mindanao.
Last year, the Department of Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala together with City Mayor Darlene Magnolia R. Antonino-Custodio led the groundbreaking of the asparagus packing facility at Barangay San Jose. And just last April 27 this year, guests and visitors were welcomed during the Inauguration of the Asparagus Packing Plant with Enhancement Support Project.
Along with Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV and Hon. Richard L. Atendido, Mr. Reed J. Aeschliman the USAID Deputy Mission Director also witnessed the memorable inauguration of the facility.
On top of the city's distinction as the tuna capital in the country, the DA in support of the Local Government helped the city in transforming the site in Barangay San Jose as well as the nearby towns and cities in SOCSKSARGEN into a major high value crop producer.
With the present asparagus plant, there will be some 60 farmer-members who will benefit. Since General Santos also produces high value crops such as corn, papaya, coconut, banana, rice and asparagus. The asparagus plantation is situated at Purok Shuttle, Barangay San Jose with 80 hectares of high value asparagus.
inside the packing facility with farmer-members of Greenland Aparagus Producers Multi Purpose Cooperative
The Aparagus Packing Plant will facilitate the processing of harvested asparagus not only in the city but also in the entire SOCCSKARGEN area. The facility also has a production enhancement support project that is capable of processing newly produced asparagus harvested in the asparagus plantation.
aerial view of the packing facility
packing plant workers in action
With the operation of the plant, farmer-members will now be able improve their quality of living. Many farmers have testified that because of the introduction of asparagus planting in their area, they were able to improve their life and having a more convenient living compared to their previous situation.
USAID Deputy Mission Director Reed J. Aeschliman welcomed by Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV
Hon. Ed Leyson IV greeted by GAPMPC members
Committee Chairperson on Food & Agriculture - Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV with Hon. Ric Atendido and Mr. Aeschliman
The farmers are expected to harvest at least 800 kilos of asparagus shoots per day. These shoots are sorted and passed through a quality inspection and packed in a makeshift hut.
Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV chats with Sir Reed Aeschliman
With the asparagus packing facility, the supply brought to major leading supermarkets, restaurants and hotels across the country is increasing. With greater demand comes greater supply.
all set for the cutting of the ribbon
cutting of ribbon ceremony by Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV assisted by Mr. Reed Aeschliman
According to DA, the city of General Santos alone there are about 5,000 hectares that could be used for high value crops plantation. The DA Bureau of Agriculture Research Department also sees the potential of processing and canning of asparagus.
In behalf of the City Mayor Darlene Magnolia R. Antonino-Custodio, the Chairperson on Committee on Food & Agriculture, Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV received the plaque of appreciation in grateful appreciation and recognition for the City Mayor's invaluable support to the establishment of Asparagus Packing Plant with Enhancement Support Project signed by Mr. Rogelio Pascual, chairman of GAPMC.
Hon. Ed Leyson IV looks at the packing operations of asparagus shoots
More photos here....,
equipments in the packing facility
Note: photos courtesy of Alexander James F. Quizon