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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) assures that hog supply and hog price in the region remains stable despite cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in some areas in Mindanao.

“Amid the threat of ASF, region 10’s hog supply remains stable. More importantly, the region is still free from the said deadly disease,” shared Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado of DA-10.

Among the agency’s measures in ensuring that the region remains ASF-free include implementing strict quarantine checkpoints, including the conduct of various information-dissemination activities.

Importantly, the strengthened partnership with the provincial and municipal/city local government units in the region on the strict enforcement on the prevention and control of ASF.

It can be recalled that the agency has also recently turned over two units of automated disinfection system in DA-RFO 10’s Malaybalay Stock Farm in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City and Alae Quarantine Station, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, which is the first of its kind in Mindanao and in the region.

Philippine Statistics Authority reported, as of July 1, this year, Region 10 ranked third in volume of production at 101,911.97 metric tons next to Central Luzon and CALABARZON, respectively.

According to Chedy V. Ansale, Chief of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of DA-10, based on their regional price monitoring of liveweight data, hog price remains stable at around P90-100 per kilogram during the month of September up to present.

She further clarified, there is enough supply despite circulating reports of its shortage, “Based on our data, our demand in the region for first semester of this year is 23,737 metric tons while our available volume of pork for consumption is 60,096 metric tons. Thus, we have a surplus of 153% and a sufficiency level of 253%.”

She added, it is an opportunity for hog raisers in the region to sell their supply to other areas in the country.

Northern Mindanao Hog Raisers Association (NorMinHog) President Leon Tan, Jr. cited, that their organization continues to supply in areas outside the region such as Manila, Leyte, Surigao and Caraga. # (AMBManto)

POONA PIAGAPO, LANAO DEL NORTE- Seventy farmer-beneficiaries of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) received vegetable gardening materials worth P2.1 million.

Each farmer-beneficiary from barangays Pendulonan and Poblacion of said town was granted with assorted vegetable seeds, fertilizers and gardening materials on October 8, 2020.

The 5-in-1 vegetable seeds comprised of ampalaya, okra, squash, string beans and eggplant, while gardening materials include hand rake, flat hand shovel, hand gloves, knapsack sprayer, water drum and plastic seedling tray.

Carlota S. Madriaga, Regional Technical Director for Operations of DA-RFO 10 said, the intervention aims to augment the farmers’ household income amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The turnover ceremony held in barangay Pendulonan Hall was graced by Mayor Muslima T. Macol, Municipal Agriculturist Nasif O. Mamarinta, barangay captains Jamilah L. Musa (Poblacion) and Monabe T. Fernando (Pendulonan) and SAAD representatives.

SAAD is a special program of DA designed to empower and capacitate marginalized farmers in the country. # (REBermundo)

Recently in Valencia City, a consultation meeting was held by DA-10 led by RED Collado and 3rd district Bukidnon Representative Zubiri, together with other corn stakeholders to help farmers address the prevalent buying price of corn and ensure its long-term stable market prices

 

VALENCIA CITY, BUKIDNON, October 22 – Eyed in aiding farmers to command better prices for their produce, a Consultation Meeting was staged with the agriculture department of Northern Mindanao (DA-10) on October 21.

The congressional, provincial and municipal governments of Bukidnon, corn clusters and feed millers convened, following after 3rd district Bukidnon Representative, Manuel F. Zubiri, sought help from DA-10 for a discussion focusing on the current buying price of yellow corn and ensure its long-term stable market prices.

Being the second top producing province across the country, Bukidnon has posted a production of 714,673 metric tons (MT) of yellow corn last year, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.

In mid-September of this year, average farm gate buying price for yellow corn range from P9.80-10.50 in Bukidnon, while it is pegged at P12.50-16.00 for feed millers and processors buying across Region 10.

Carlota S. Madriaga, regional technical director for operations of DA-10 emphasized, the engagement aims to come up with a unified and harmonized action plan for Northern Mindanao’s corn industry, especially in Bukidnon.

Basically, also noting the agency’s measures to help farmers demand better prices for their corn harvest.

“As early as 2018, we have directly linked the Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmer’s Cooperative (MARBFC) of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon with Pilmico Foods, Corp. to serve a portion of said company’s requirements for animal feeds.

As part of their social responsibility, it is also their way of helping farmers through their inclusive corn sourcing project,” Madriaga reported.

Currently, the Cooperative has a target purchase order with Pilmico, a minimum of 250 MT at P15.00 per kilo.

In a bid to open marketing support opportunities for more Bukidnon corn farmers, Madriaga noted, the ‘big brother-small brother’ marketing strategy is also in place.

“As the big brother, MARBFC acts as a consolidator, buying the produce of its members and other cooperatives, even as far as the towns of Kibawe and Kadingilan, to assist small corn farmers in selling their harvest to Pilmico, where the Cooperative buys yellow corn from them at P13.00 per kilo.”

She added, other corn clusters linked to Pilmico includes, Kaugayan Savers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Impasug-ong); Salvacion Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Kadingilan); and the BFI Employees Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Don Carlos), who are now waiting for quality control results for their submitted corn samples.

Likewise, she reiterated DA Secretary William D. Dar’s call for local governments to lend a hand in stabilizing prices of the country’s major staple food crops.

For this, she urged LGUs to access loans assistance from the Landbank of the Philippines to procure commodities direct from the farmers such as corn and rice, and to establish postharvest and logistics facilities.

Meanwhile, Cong. Zubiri shared, he is pushing for a house bill to put up grain centrals in the legislative districts, adding that he will lobby for the National Food Authority to be allowed in buying all types of grains, including corn.

Issues transpired from the forum include the availment of additional postharvest facilities and access to road connectivity; strengthened linkages between farmers and feed millers and processors, including fast tracking of payments and establishment of buying stations in strategic areas of Bukidnon; and enhanced regulations on corn imports and other raw materials for feeds.

Beside Pilmico, feed millers and processors like CJ Philippines, San Miguel Foods, Corp. and Anakciano Feedmill were also in attendance, to listen the concerns from the different corn clusters and further committed to escalate these to their respective managements.

In response, they recommended to intensify farmers’ adoption of good agricultural practices to ensure quantity and quality production of corn at the same time urged corn clusters to complete all the necessary documents for them to be officially recognized as a legal entity, which could translate to greater marketing prospects.

“We have a line-up of requests for funding under Bayanihan 1 and 2 and we want, that whatever we have discussed will be materialized and eventually, be allocated with funds, especially on the corn clusters’ clamor for postharvest facilities,” Carlene C. Collado, regional executive director of DA-10 remarked.

The aggie department is further set to conduct a meeting with the feed millers and processors to align their yellow corn requirements, including the conduct of a corn quality forum to capacitate the various corn clusters. #

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – In the effort to further drum-up the region’s food production capacity, the Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao is eyeing Lala, Lanao del Norte as one of its prospected pilot areas for the implementation of DA’s Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) Program in Northern Mindanao.

Lala accounted for 6,288 hectares of rice area in Lanao del Norte and the home of 53 DA-accredited and LGU-assisted Farmer Associations and Cooperatives (FCAs) engaged in rice farming.

In the last wet cropping season, Lala generated a total of 40,391 metric tons harvested palay.

“We have significantly facilitated the granting of numerous agricultural assistance to our farmers. Rice farmer associations in Lala are recipients of various agricultural inputs, farm machineries and equipment, and agricultural infrastructure projects from DA-10,” Dodirico Cuaresma, Lala Municipal Agriculturist said.

Given Lala’s potential as one of the region’s top rice producers, and the LGU’s strengthened support for agriculture, the town is prospectively identified as recipient of the F2C2 Program.

“The LGU of Lala vowed to continuously support our rice farmers, and we will be more than willing to be part of DA’s rice production projects in the region” Cuaresma added.

As the pioneering farm and fisheries clustering program in the country, the F2C2 is primarily geared towards increasing agricultural revenue in the region, by providing the agri-fishery sectors strategic access to market, resources and technologies assistance.

As a requirement, clustered F2C2 rice areas should reach a minimum of 100 hectares.

Each area should be adjacent to one another and located in the same municipality or congressional district.

In her part, Letecia Ditucalan, Lanao del Norte’s Provincial Agricultural Officer averred the province is highly welcoming and supportive of all DA’s projects in the province.

Looking forward to the F2C2 implementation, Ditucalan said “We will never say no to any agri development projects. As LGU, despite our limitations, we will be providing any support needed – technical support, coordination, to help implement the project”.

Ditucalan also shared that the provincial government is now gearing towards a more inclusive rice production program, by fostering both the lowland and highland rice areas in Lanao del Norte.

As the palay buying price in the province recently lowers due to peak harvest season, she disclosed the provincial government has been buying the farmers’ produce for the province’s Grains Processing Center.

She averred the palay were purchased at a price at least one peso higher than the prevailing farmgate price in assistance to the rice farmers.

PSA reported that Lanao del Norte ranked second after Bukidnon, in terms of rice area harvested in Northern Mindanao as of the second quarter of 2020.

The province contributed 32.2 percent of the region’s palay production for the period mentioned.

Pilot implementation of the F2C2 in Lanao del Norte required the clustering of identified farmer organizations, and consolidation of their production areas to form a network of specialized farm producers.

Favored FCAs will be provided financial support, scholarships, information and technology assistance aside from regular agricultural interventions, under the DA’s F2C2 Program.

These interventions are anticipated to improve the FCAs’ operations.

The DA-10 is now suiting-up for pilot implementation of the F2C2 in Northern Mindanao by identifying strategic areas for clustered and consolidated rice, corn and other grains, high value crops, livestock and organic agriculture production in the region.#(Azbie Talib)

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON – Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar said, former rebels (FR) find interest in planting adlay which is easier to cultivate and incurs less production cost.

In line with the government’s pursuit to end local terrorism in the country, Andanar and his team visited adlay farm in Camp Osito Bahian of the 403rd Infantry Brigade on Tuesday, October 20 with Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon and Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga of the Department of Agriculture in Region 10.

Seeing adlay’s health benefits and its impact to the lives of the FRs and IPs, Andanar assured that the PCOO will help the DA -10 and the 403rd Infantry Brigade, PA  in promoting and marketing adlay, including its value-added products to sustain the project.

Director Collado shared, the department has partnered with the AFP to reach far-flung areas and use its military reservation camps for planting adlay that will benefit FRs living nearby.

According to Col. Barandon, Camp Bahian has a total area of 70 hectares suitable for agriculture.

“The 10-hectare at the back was already planted with corn by some trained personnel with the help of some FRs, which will eventually be converted to adlay farm,” Barandon expressed.

On the other hand, Andanar who is also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) in Region 10 visited the adlay seed production which is also undertaken by DA-RFO 10’s research center to produce and distribute quality seeds to the farmers in Northern Mindanao.

Adlay is one of the alternative staple foods in the country, planted for research and development of appropriate adlay technologies by its research station, the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan.

Andanar said, the PCOO will launch a broadcast auction early next year to feature some agricultural products of the region in partnership with PTV4, Department of Trade and Industry and DA, of which adlay will be promoted through the platform.

Dir. Collado presented the crop’s various value-added products, such as adlay grits, cereal, coffee, cookies, wine and even soap.

He emphasized that the prevailing farm gate price of the seeds is P50-100 per kilo and the grits ranges from P180-200 per kilo.

DA-RFO 10 Research Division OIC-Chief Carmelito T. Lapoot said, in 2012, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research has started to fund the project as it was found to have economic significance to some indigenous peoples (IPs) in some parts of the region due to its adaptability, resilience to pests and diseases and lesser cost of maintenance in farming.

“Based on studies, adlay is good for diabetes since it has low glycemic index and rich in fiber, making it in demand to consumers who’s into healthy foods,” Lapoot explained.

He also noted that the region has a total source of about 520 hectares of said crop, particularly in Bukidnon with major growing areas in Lantapan, Manolo Fortich, Impasug-ong, Talakag and Malaybalay City; which are mostly due for harvest on the last week of November this year.

Andanar’s project visit is in line with the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Bukidnon to fully operationalize Executive Order No.70, also known as the whole of nation approach. # (EMBentulan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The agriculture department in Region 10 (DA-10) has strengthened its food resiliency initiatives to further support local farmers and fisherfolk amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant, Program (4Ps) continue to allocate the Local Government Units (LGUs), schools, military personnel, other government agencies and non-government organizations provisions on rice, corn and vegetable seeds, and even livestock, to boost the services and assistance to our local farmers [and other relevant stakeholders],” conveyed Carlota S. Madriaga Regional Technical Director for Operations of DA-10 in an interview.

She stressed the importance of growing their own food to ensure food security among every Filipino household.

Emphasizing the ongoing implementation of DA’s “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” Program, the majority of which is done together with the LGU of Cagayan de Oro to extend marketing support to farmers and fisherfolk in the region.

The Kadiwa project is part of the department’s initiative to ensure affordable and available food for all by directly linking suppliers to consumers, bringing their produce closer to communities.

DA’s Kadiwa sites do not only provide affordable and nutritious food to consumers, but also assuring a market for the produce of farmers and fisherfolk.

“During the peak of COVID-19, where there is difficulty in transporting goods from the suppliers to the consumers, DA-10 provided logistic support to farmers from Claveria, Misamis Oriental and Talakag, Bukidnon to deliver their products to major outlets in CdeO,” she added.

Local farmers and suppliers are encouraged to take part in DA’s Kadiwa on Wheels and locally led Mobile Palengke, to coordinate with DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) for guidance.

Initially, Kadiwa activities have assisted about 66 individual farmers and 1,408 cooperatives, across the 227 Kadiwa sites in the different barangays of the Region with almost P17 million total sales generated as of September.

Despite the COVID-19 triggered pandemic in early March, the National Economic Development Authority reported, that the agriculture sector posted a 1.6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first semester, this year. # (Irish Mae Juntahan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Twenty individuals from the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon availed the free range chicken livelihood assistance from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) worth P742,500 starting September, this year.

Said efforts is the department’s bid to provide livelihood support to conflict-affected areas thru the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

DA-10 Livestock Program Coordinator, Ma. Lourdes M. Sypiecco said, the distribution of chicken heads to individual recipients (with a ratio of 1 male to 10 female) is being implemented thru a roll-over scheme.

Each recipient will return the same number of chicken heads granted, which will then be distributed to another set of beneficiaries.

Local governments through its municipal agricultural offices will facilitate and monitor said scheme.

Being one of the receiving towns of said assistance, Albert M. Gabutan, OIC-Municipal Agriculturist of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, shared, “We will do our part by monitoring the project to ensure its sustainability and have more individuals benefit from it.”

Under Executive Order 70, the government seeks a whole-of-nation approach in addressing insurgencies by prioritizing the delivery of basic services to ensure peace and development. # (AMBManto, DA-10)

MACO eyed for inclusion in F2C2 program. Apart from being a Rice Processing Center-recipient, rice farmers of Maramag Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MACO MPC) will soon benefit other projects from DA’s Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation program. #

 

To promote inclusive agribusiness development in the country, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office (DA-RFO 10) gears up for the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program (F2C2), as it selects the Maramag Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MACO MPC) as one of its pilot areas for the program.

“To contribute to our rice sufficiency efforts in the region, the cooperative is chosen for its potential for rice production,” DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga shared.

Established in 1990, the cooperative is based in North Poblacion, Maramag, Bukidnon and has grown to 8,369 members since then.

The cooperative is known for working with the agency on its programs and project implementations geared towards reducing production costs of rice farmers, thus, increasing their income.

Aside from being a Rice Processing Center recipient, the cooperative has also received agri-machineries and facility such as combine harvesters, farm tractors and mechanical dryers to support  around their 100 members who are engaged in rice production.

Such produce is also being sold at the cooperative’s agency store.

In addition, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative sold their produce as part of the relief goods distribution initiatives by some local government units.

In line with the DA Administrative Order 27 signed by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, the F2C2 program seeks to streamline the access to credit, financing, mechanization, logistics and transport, and post-harvest support to farm and fishery clusters.

Under the program, clustered areas must have a minimum production area of 100 hectares for rice, 75 for corn and other grains, 50 for high value vegetables, 100 for fruit trees and perennials and 100 hectares for fiber crops.

It will also focus on giving priority to community production and processing projects to promote coordinated and organized value chain systems to achieve increased productivity compared to stand-alone practices.

“We are hopeful for the success of this project and look forward that it will help increase our farmers’ productivity and income, especially during these trying times,” remarked MACO MPC chair Calixto DS. Daquiado. # (AMBManto)

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is unquestionably a trying circumstance.

The crisis compelled everyone to reckon with overwhelming social and economic adversities, paralyzing the livelihood of a great majority.

While most are in limbo, disconcerted and idle in the face of the pandemic, Michael Madale, a 35 year-old farmer beneficiary of the DA-10’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program from Salvacion, in Kadingilan, Bukidnon chose to be otherwise.

Michael invests himself in backyard gardening and makes the most out of his family’s yard.

He organically grew several vegetables, root crops and herbs in his lawn, raised goats, pigs, cattle and fish, maximizing his time while going through mandatory quarantine.

“I have been gardening way before the pandemic. However, since we are obliged to undergo the quarantine, then I have more time gardening around the house” Michael remarked.

Michael continuously provides for his family notwithstanding the crisis.

Now, he steadily earns at least P700 a week by selling his organic produce. This year, he estimated to make at least P200k from all his farm products.

“Formerly I worked for an NGO. After years of working I finally decided to be a fulltime farmer. I realized I can earn more than my salary by farming” Michael shared.

The provider to a family of three, Michael’s life revolved around agriculture, and he has since developed the passion for farming.

“My parents are farmers. They provided our daily needs and supported our education by planting rice, corn, cassava and banana, and by growing vegetables. Agriculture, especially organic farming, is a personal advocacy for me” Michael averred.

As an Environmental Management graduate, Michael is amenable today’s farmers should be “environmentalist” in their own little way.

He said minimizing the use of synthetic agricultural products and shifting to organic farming will go a long way in protecting the environment.

“As farmers we should farm without compromising the environment. We should provide our family safe and healthy foods, and care for our environment at the same time” he asserted.

Michael and 25 fellow farmers in Barangay Salvacion are members of Nagkahiusang Mag-Uuma Farmers Association.

The association is a recipient of numerous interventions from SAAD Northern Mindanao such as farm inputs, garden tools, cattle and Multi-Crops Drying Pavement.

As officer of the said association, Michael is always in the forefront, being a helping hand in the implementation of SAAD projects in their community.

“We have been receiving agricultural assistance from SAAD since 2018. The program provided us several interventions for crops and livestock production. SAAD is undeniably a big help to indigent farmers in our place. We are truly indebted to the program” Michael said.

A visionary man, Michael hopes one day he can convert his home-based farm into an organic farming learning site, allowing him to share his knowledge and passion to other farmers.

Similarly, he and his wife are looking forward to starting a food processing business in the future by utilizing their farm products as raw materials.

“We planned to produce processed peanut and meat products since we are producing the raw materials. For now, we lack the tools we need, but we are not rushing. We wanted to be holistically ready before engaging in the business” Michael accounted.

Coming from a financially challenged family, Michael is convinced that agriculture is the most practical solution to the country’s long-standing battle against poverty.

He stressed, with enough scientific support, agriculture can change the lives of poor farmers.

Moreover, he underscored farmers’ attitude towards government’s assistance are crucial to the attainment of inclusive development in the country.

“With the crisis we are facing, it is about time that farmers like us twist our mindset and think of government assistance not just as dole out but an opportunity to better our lives. We should value the projects granted to us and foster them to our advantage” he pointed out.

Michael urges farmers like him to stay productive, particularly in this challenging time. He challenged them to maximize idle spaces in their houses to earn extra income, instead of plainly relying on government amelioration.

“While hoping for the pandemic to dwindle, we need to be able to continuously earn for our family. We do not need a huge area to start farming. We can make use of our idle yard and plant anything we can eat and earn from there” Michael asserted.

He believes balance decision and advance thinking are fundamental to a farmer, most especially since the pandemic holds still. He professed being initiative-driven makes the difference in a farmer’s life.

“My mantra is to learn to regret ahead. As farmers we need to be able to foresee what lies ahead. We should be able to scan our horizon and make the best we can today for our tomorrow” Michael advised.

The new normal is indeed overwhelming. But Michael Madale proves a farmer can thrive amidst the pandemic.

As he modelled, toppling the COVID-19 adversities requires nothing more than the ability to capitalize on every existing opportunity – taking full advantage of government assistance and doses of ingenuity and diligence. #

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) eyes for the Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’ Cooperative (MARBFC), as one of its pilot areas for the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program (F2C2).

Based in Zone 2, Mantibugao, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, MARBFC is primarily engaged in corn and cassava production and other value-adding activities, and one of the longstanding project-implementers of the department founded back in 1991.

Two years ago, the farmers’ group has also been recognized as the Grand Champion for the Cassava Cluster Management Excellence Awards (CCMEA) of DA.

“The cooperative has been chosen, given their responsiveness to the implementation of various programs and projects of the government,” Carlene C. Collado, regional executive director of DA-10 said.

“With the continued vision of the farmers’ group in uplifting the lives of its members and the community, MARBFC is a great prospect in leading more small farmers to replicate their clustering and consolidation approach in production, processing and marketing, and further bringing it to another level,” he detailed.

DA Administrative Order 27 states, F2C2 aims to bring economies of scale in agriculture through the provision of technical and financial support, enabling more farmers and fisherfolk, including agripreneurs to produce and earn more, at the same time.

Under said Program, the agency can extend a downpour of assistance ranging from pre-production and production support, postharvest facilities, packaging support, transport and logistics, credit, marketing assistance, among others to farm and fishery clusters.

DA’s set eligibility criteria to avail of projects under F2C2 is set at 100 hectares for rice production, corn and other grain crops (75 ha.), high value vegetable crops (50 ha.), fruit trees and perennials (100 ha) and, at 100 hectares for fiber crops.

“Amid the current decline in the buying price for corn, MARBFC is assured of a market by providing the weekly 500 metric tons requirement of Pilmico Foods, Corp. pegged at P15 per kilo,” Richan D. Lacanaria, regional corn focal person of the agency reported.

The coop is catering corn farm clusters from Southern Bukidnon like Quezon, Kitaotao, Kibawe, Damulog, Don Carlos and Kadingilan to avail the higher price of Pilmico.

Back in March 2018, MARBFC has already inked an agreement with Pilmico under its Inclusive Corn Sourcing Project.

“We are buying corn from other corn clusters, aside from our own, to also aid other corn farmers,” Antonio B. Juanitas, Jr., MARBFC chairman accounted.

“We are also thankful for the department in granting us farm machineries and equipment that helped us in reducing our labor [production] cost,” the farmers’ coop official continued.

While an orientation for the pilot farm clusters is still underway, Juanitas conveyed, that it is a good opportunity for them to be considered under DA’s F2C2 program.

“Should we be fortunate, and the Program be finally in place, we really look forward in proposing for inputs assistance and additional establishment of a storehouse,” the farmers-coop official shared.

He further detailed, MARBFC will buy farmers corn produce at a reasonable price to help them since the provision of inputs is crucial.

Their approach will prevent farmers from going to traders for financing that will force them to sell their harvest [to them] at dictated prices.

Since MARBFC’s inception with only 15 members, they are now 480 members in strength planting around 117 hectares of corn and 264 hectares of cassava.

Of which, under the farm cluster’s wing is five cooperatives and four associations from the towns of Manolo Fortich and Libona in Bukidnon. #

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