MEMBERS of the Himanag-Sipaco Development Multipurpose Cooperative (HSDMPC) based in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur will finally be getting the much-needed boost in their abaca production.
Through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), partner agencies and the local government unit, a project to improve the group’s abaca processing facility is now underway, the DAR said in a statement.
Under the project, the cooperative will receive P300,000 worth of construction materials for the improvement of their abaca processing center.
The DAR said the cooperative will also receive P280,000 for skills and managerial training, as well as marketing activities for 120 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
Officials of the DAR, Department of Science and Technology, (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the LGU of Lagonoy signed the agreement at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall in Lagonoy, with the HSDMPC required to bear the labor costs with the Lagonoy LGU contributing P50,000.
HSDMPC Chairman Noel Gaor was quoted in the statement as saying the project is expected to provide them with additional funds to improve the cooperative’s processing center.
“We are so excited,” Gaor added. “With this partnership, our vision of expanding the production and marketing of abaca in coastal areas is now going to become a reality.”
According to DAR Camarines Sur Provincial Agrarian Reform Chief Renato C. Bequillo, with the help of partner agencies—DTI, DOST and the LGU of Lagonoy, the ARBs “will not only achieve an increase in agricultural productivity but will also develop entrepreneurial skills to improve the sustainability of their livelihoods.”
Bequillo added that the DAR will also allocate P370,000 for abaca product upgrading, marketing and training in 2023.
Meanwhile, the DOST Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) will provide economic growth services and give HSDMPC the technological support to help them scale up their production.
For its part, the DTI promised to assist the organization in marketing or to sell their products and adapt it to the preferences of identified markets.
“Our agency has two supporting interventions for this program. First is the DTI-CARP project, which will provide them with continuous training to adjust to market innovation. Second, the Negosyo Center in Lagonoy promotes ease of doing business and facilitates access to services for small enterprises like that of the HSDMPC,” DTI Provincial Director Jay Percival Ablan said.
In recent years, the DAR has supported HSDMPC through capacity building in abaca production by providing 2,700 tissue-cultured abaca plantlets of various varieties through the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), as well as product development training in weaving trays, baskets and mat-making.
The DAR said it also linked the ARBO to its financing and business development support programs and projects.
Image credits: Dragon Vision Trading