The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently turned over a processing center to members of the Parag-Uma ngan Batad Association (PUBA) in Gandara, Samar Province to boost the group’s broom or “walis tambo” production.
Locally called batad, “walis tambo” produced by the group is made of tiger grass which naturally grows in their area.
Susan Magaro, president of PUBA said the facility would benefit the 96 members of the group as it would help increase their income “while working comfortably” inside their new facility.
Prior to the new facility, Magaro said their processing center was a small makeshift building.
“Whenever it rains, water drips from the ceiling.”
DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Alfonso Catorce said PUBA is among the DAR-assisted agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) which availed the business development service with support facility under the Village Level Farm Focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) of the DAR.
“The improvement of this P250,000 facility was made possible through the joint efforts of several government agencies. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provided training in tiger grass production, pricing and costing, quality control, and labeling. The local government unit of Gandara provided technical assistance support and extension services to the cooperative,” Catorce said.
Nilda Velasco, DAR Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer, said before DAR formally organized PUBA into an ARBO in 2017, its members were already into “batad” making.
She said they sell their brooms at P100 each for the ordinary one, while the bigger one costs P200 each.
Velasco said this is the second processing center provided by the DAR to the ARBOs in this municipality. According to her, the first processing center was provided to the Concepcion Farmers Association for their coco vinegar processing.
At the facility’s turnover, Municipal Agriculturist Lucas Rebay, committed to enable farmers to expand the supply of tiger grass.
DTI Samar Provincial Director, Meilou Macabare assured PUBA that the agency will promote their product.