Ampalaya enterprise in Bulacan boosted through improvement of FMR
Increasing productivity and profitability is the vision of the province of Bulacan to the vegetable industry in rural barangays. With the involvement of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), this goal will soon be realized.
An enterprise subproject dubbed as Triple B Charantin, will increase the income opportunity of ampalaya growers through the processing of fresh ampalaya fruits into dried products. Excluding the proponent group equity and infra support costs, the enterprise project cost is amounting to P7.1 million.
According to Ferdinand Santos, Chairman of Bukal Farmer’s Cooperative, the three cooperatives – Bulusukan Farmers Palay and Vegetable Producers Cooperative, Bukal Farmers Producers Cooperative and Buhol na Mangga Marketing Cooperative – were identified and prioritized using the parameters and guidelines based on the operations manual of Enterprise Development component of PRDP and these cooperatives were the major producers of vegetables in their municipality particularly ampalaya.
“Based on the results of Value Chain Analysis (VCA) of ampalaya conducted in the region, the results showed that the three cooperatives have the potential and capacity to be recipient of the project from PRDP,” Santos said.
When asked about the readiness of the cooperatives to handle the subproject, Santos said, “Yes, we are always ready to run the enterprise. We are now knowledgeable from planting to harvesting ampalaya especially the bonito and 242 F1 varieties.”
He added that the people who will be assigned in the enterprise already attended several trainings and demo for them to be equipped in the process of the business.
In support to this enterprise, a 9.8 kilometer farm-to-market road amounting to P97.6 million is now underway, seeking to reduce the average travel time from farm to markets in Barangays Bubulong Malake, Bulusukan, Bubulong Munti, and Bohol na Mangga – the major ampalaya producers in San Ildefonso.
Likewise, it shall reduce input and output hauling costs and post-harvest losses, expand the ampalaya production area and to provide employment opportunities to the locals of the four barangays.
The road project is now nearing its completion, with a physical accomplishment of 95.44% to date.
Santos said that the ongoing construction of the road already proves beneficial to the residents in several ways.
“Now that our road is being concreted, it is much easier for us to transport our newly harvest vegetables from our farm to the market,” Santos said.
PRDP is a six-year project designed to establish the government platform for a modern, climate-smart and market-oriented agri-fishery sector. (Kayla Arceo and Dianne Lapuz, DA-PRDP North Luzon InfoACE)