Coconut farmers in the town of Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay, are getting the much-needed boost from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
A statement from the DAR said a farmers’ cooperative in Buug recently received some P1.2 million worth of assistance.
The Del Monte Coconut Farmers Credit Cooperative (Delcofacco) received a hauling truck, 20 units of weighing scales, and rubber boots for Delcofacco’s buy and sell copra business, the DAR said.
The package of assistance was funded through the DAR’s Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets (LinksFarm) project. The DAR said the LinksFarm has chosen the municipality of Buug as its pilot area in the province.
The project will benefit the coconut farmers and farmers’ associations from the said town through capacity building, marketing assistance and agricultural extension.
The Delcofacco is also a beneficiary of another DAR program for its coconut coffee processing and manufacturing.
The DAR said it provided Delcofacco a total of P550,000 of financial aid: P300,000 for the construction of a coconut coffee processing center; P235,000 for product enhancement and training; and P15,000 for product laboratory testing.
With the newly constructed processing center, the co-op can now manufacture safe, quality and market-ready coco coffee products and increase the volume of its production.
The processing center will also prevent contamination from destructive elements such as insects.
During the turnover ceremony on February 27, DAR Provincial Chief Mohammad Dassan Adju told Delcofacco officials to recognize the role being undertaken by the DAR after land distribution.
“The DAR will continue doing its function of facilitating development, especially in rural communities,” Adju was quoted in the statement as saying.
“Having been chosen as the beneficiary of the project gave us so much pride,” Delcofacco Chairman Violeta Cordero said, assuring the agency the cooperative will maintain and sustain the project.
Linksfarm and the VLFED are nationwide projects of the DAR, which both aim to empower farmers into becoming agro-entrepreneurs.