The SPPAQ, which cost PHP28.9m (US$0.7m) to build, will act as the principal depot for vegetables, chickens and eggs produced in the Quezon province, reports GMANews.TV, and has the capacity to meet 65 per cent of the metropolitan region's vegetable requirements.
President Arroyo, who oversaw the delivery of two refrigerated trucks to the facility as part of the inauguration ceremony, said the SPPAQ will provide farmers with a modern and centralised buying, selling and distribution hub for their agricultural products.
Meanwhile, two vapour-heat-treatment (VHT) plants in southern Mindanao are helping local mango suppliers improve the post-harvest quality of their fruit and meet strict export market quarantine standards, according to sunstar.com.
Mango exporters Southern Philippines Fresh Fruits Corporation (SPFFC) and Diamond Star launched their VHT facilities last year, and by December SPFFC had successfully shipped a trial consignment to Japan, sunstar reports.
"With the new VHT facilities and the entry of other processing plants, Mindanao mangoes have a better chance of finding their way onto the shelves of lucrative foreign markets," said Antonio Teh, the president of Southern Mindanao Mango Council.
Japan is the biggest market for Mindanao mangoes. In 2007, the island-region shipped 1,092 tonnes of high-grade fresh mangoes valued at US$2.7m directly to Japan, according to the National Statistics Office.
Other major buyers of Mindanao mango in 2007 included South Korea (484 tonnes-US$484,408), US (28 tonnes – US$154,810), Hong Kong (185 tonnes – US$88,850), Iran (17 tonnes – US$43,950), Malaysia (4 tonnes – US$23,149), and China (128 tonnes – US$21,439).
VHT is a requirement for all mangoes exported to Japan, South Korea, and the US.