DA’s TienDA food marketing program may boost tourism: Piñol

The Department of Agriculture (DA)’s TienDA marketing program, which was originally meant to directly link up farmers and fishers to consumers to scale down food prices while ensuring growers’ income, might yet prove to be a tourism boost.

DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol raised such possibility, as he cited plans to make the newly opened Bohol Fish Market (BFM) not just as Bohol province’s fish trading hub, where people can directly buy from fisherfolk, but as a tourist draw as well.

He said the BFM will eventually add up eateries, where people can have the fresh fish they bought there cooked in front of them.

DA launched BFM, the first of its TienDA fish markets, in Bohol this month to address Boholanos’ complaints about soaring prices of fish in their province.

A study by the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has shown that middlemen’s control over agricultural trading in Bohol had resulted in higher prices.

Piñol said the DA would establish TienDA fish markets in areas, where there are no fishing grounds to help ensure the supply of affordable fish for the people.

Among such areas he cited are landlocked Baguio City, Abra, Tarlac, Bukidnon, and North Cotabato provinces.

“The next fish market to be launched after Bohol will be in Baguio City, where the DA has a facility within the Benguet State University compound–the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center,” Piñol earlier said.

The BFM will serve as a model for future TienDA fish markets, he said.

He added the BFM will be stakeholder-owned, with the wives and daughters of fishers and fish vendors serving as the hub’s operators.

The DA linked the Bohol fishers to other regions’ fisherfolk groups, which supplied fish to the BFM at prices lower than the prevailing fish prices in Bohol.

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