Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the turn-over ceremony of eight (8 hauling trucks, two (2) refrigerated trucks, and a water well drilling rig with the total worth of Php43,440 million held at the Dairy Processing Center, Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC), Dontogan, Baguio City on October 29, 2021.
The hauling trucks amounting to almost Php16.5 million from the Rice Program and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service Division (AMAD) funds were given to 8 Farmers Cooperative and Associations (FCAs) from Apayao, Abra and Mt. Province; the refrigerated trucks with the total amount of nearly Php5 million under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) fund were turned-over to 2 FCAs; and the water well drilling rig and support equipment amounting to Php22 million under the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) fund was handed over to the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR).
The interventions aim in strengthening the FCA’s existing marketing enterprise on agricultural commodities, ensuring safe and quality produce delivered to consumers, helping farmers market their produce and earn income. Further, these assistance programs are in consonance with the OneDA Reform Agenda—consolidation, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization.
On behalf of the Abra Diocesan Teachers and Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ADTEMPCO), ADTEMPCO manager Ms. Irene Bringas, expressed her gratitude to DA for its invaluable support to Abra farmers. She said that they are fortunate to be granted with hauling trucks that will make the farmers’ works easier. Aside from the hauling trucks, they were also assisted by DA with the building of their on-going rice processing center and warehouse.
Also, Mr. Basilio Ngaseo Jr., president of Manpat-a Farmers’ Association, thanked DA for its assistance to the Benguet farmers. Aside from the hauling truck, their group was also provided with loan assistance, machineries like tractors, and other equipment for farmers. He added that they will take care and maximize these various interventions given to them and will use these to deliver their quality and affordable produce to places outside the region.
Meanwhile, Flora, Apayao Mayor Rodolfo Juan said that these DA grants are helpful in improving the farmers’ quality of life.
In his message, Sec. Dar highlighted 2 important things. First, the conversion of association to cooperative and strengthening agribusiness and value-added agriculture. He added that the delivery of government services is through cooperatives and he encourages farmer cooperatives to focus on production and business. “Let’s continue to build up our farmers,” he said. Secondly, farmer cooperatives have the social responsibility to make their products affordable for the consumer public. Sec. Dar added that the government needs the power of cooperatives to fight traders who are solely profit-oriented. “We grab every opportunity to provide our farmers trucks, machineries, etc., so that they will be more productive and will have higher profit. Thus, they will achieve masaganang ani at mataas na kita,” Sec. Dar declared.
The turn-over ceremony was attended by the FCAs beneficiaries, DA Asec of Strategic Communications Noel Reyes, DA Asec of Operations Arnel de Mesa, OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey, RTD for Operations Danilo Daguio, RTD for Research & Regulations Jennilyn Dawayan, and RAED Chief Filemon Salvador.//