The Board of the National Development Company (NDC), the investment catalyst arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), approved last week the implementation of the Davao Food Complex (DFC) development, a 20-hectare land in Brgy. Dalio, Toril in Davao City envisioned to be an economic zone for food-based industries, the country’s trade chief has confirmed.

“The proposed DFC will include food processing centers, cold storage and warehousing facilities with tourism attractions that will showcase the processed agricultural products of the region,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Agri-aqua culture for ornamental fish and hatchery facility, technology and business incubation center, as well as water filtration and bottling facility for potable water-related enterprises are also being planned in the complex, according to the trade chief. 

With tourism component, the DFC will feature “dampa type” restaurants, festival marketplace, recreation parks and food retail outlets.

The DFC site forms part the entire 25-hectare land owned by NDC, with the other five-hectare currently being converted to the Davao Agri-Trading Center (DATC), whose completion is now at 40%, thus making the site of the DFC project more strategic and sustainable.

“Doing this can reduce post-harvest losses and spoilage by as much as 20%, valued at P240 million per year. It will also generate employment of about 3,300 employees based on 220 per hectare labor force density in industrial estates,” said Sec. Lopez citing the project’s economic benefits.

Other benefits include increase in value of productive lands in the area, in view of the improvement of local economy; savings in dollar reserves due to reduced volume of imports of fruits and vegetables; maintenance of quality products and good market price; and increase in tax revenue.

“Davao City and nearby areas have shown tremendous agricultural potentials that we should transform into the region’s core strength,” he added.

A market survey found the project responsive to the needs of Davao producers, specifically on the desire to increase facilities for food processing and demand for more storage and processing facilities, with 95% of 200 Davao producers surveyed willing to supply the DFC with around 60,114 MT per year of fruits and vegetables.

The Board also directed management to also consider the implementation through a joint venture scheme between NDC and a private partner.

The project is considered very marketable as the infrastructure requirements and utilities such as roads, power, communication and water, among others will be available based on the project’s masterplan.