ARBEMCO now operates abaca fiber enterprise
Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte — The Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries of Marcelo Cooperative (ARBEMCO) commenced operation of its Abaca Fiber Production and Marketing Enterprise as they received support from the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
ARBEMCO formally received the P2.94 Million worth of DA-PRDP subproject last month which include a 6-ton hauling truck and 8 units decorticating machines plus personal protective gears and bolos needed for its abaca fiber production and marketing enterprise.
Alternate Head of the DA-PRDP’s Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agricultural and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) Lenie Pecson graced the occasion. She hailed PLGU Zamboanga del Norte for being the fastest LGU to implement I-REAP subproject in less than a year only.
“We all know that this is very helpful to ARBEMCO. However, this is just the beginning because the real challenge is the operation of the enterprise,” she said.
Pecson underscored that the main objective of PRDP is to increase farmers’ income, adding: “we believe that PRDP is not mistaken in choosing ARBEMCO as one of its recipients because we believe that you can operate your enterprise viably and sustainably.”
“What you have envisioned in preparing the business plan, you will execute it now with the help of our partner agencies. Let us make this project a point of convergence among the government agencies like PhilFIDA, DAR. DOLE, DPWH in terms of technical assistance and other support for us to ensure the project sustainability,” she added.
ZDN Provincial Governor Roberto Uy was represented by Provincial Board Member Venus Uy. Kalawit Mayor Salvador Antojado also attended the occasion. Representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Fiber Industry Authority, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and Department of Public Works and Highways as members of the Regional Project Advisory Board – the body that endorsed the subproject for funding from DA-PRDP were also present.
Based on the business plan, after one year operation, beneficiaries involved in the enterprise are expected to increase their income by at least 100 percent; 5% increase in household income of abaca farmers from P98,579 to P103,507.95. In three years, production area will increase from 130 hectares to 230 % planted to abaca.
Meanwhile, acting Provincial Agriculturist Celsa Gayapa, recalled the long process they hurdled before realizing ARBEMCO’s enterprise subproject.
“With the 8 decorticating machines and hauling truck, I am pretty sure that ARBEMCO will attain inclusive growth. Sana kitang tanan magkahugpong magtinabangay aron molambo ang atong proyekto (May we all work together so as to prosper this project),”said Gayapa.
Board of Directors chair Hector Igot disclosed that ARBEMCO is a 21-year old agrarian reform beneficiaries’ cooperative with 100 hectares rubber area intercropped with abaca, 40 hectares of which are ready for selective harvest. Another 30 hectares are planted solely to abaca. They have 279 active workers but only 35 workers engaged in the abaca fiber production (24 processors and 11 for maintenance).
Since 2012, ARBEMCO has been trading abaca fiber to certain Ernesto Sevilla, a trader based in Pagadian City and is trading to Newtech Pulp Inc. in Iligan City. The coop used to hire hauling vehicle for on-farm operations and delivery of abaca fiber to Pagadian City.
Each month, the coop produces 1,440 kgs. of abaca fiber using the 6 units (10-year old) decorticating machines. With the 8 brand new decorticating machines, the coop targets to produce 6,000 kgs. dried abaca fiber every two months. In one year of operation, the enterprise is expected to sell 147,456 kgs. Year 2 would be 276,480 kgs and 497,664 kgs in the 3rd year.ost ratio of 1.09, internal rate of return of 39% and net preset value of 2,188,631.