DA-PRDP Turns Over P14M Cacao Subproject in DavOr
The Department of Agriculture Philippine Rural Development Project turned over “The Fermented Cacao Beans Marketing Enterprise Sub-project” to its lead proponent group NAGMASID Agrarian Reform Cooperative in a ceremony yesterday, July 1 at San Isidro, Davao Oriental. Present at the turn-over ceremony were Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, San Isidro Municipal Mayor Justina Yu, Regional Director for Region XI and PRDP Mindanao Project Director Ricardo Oñate, PSO Mindanao I-REAP head Ronnie Yulo, municipal local government officials, as well as cooperative managers and members of the sub-project’s recipient proponent groups.
The enterprise sub-project, which is funded by DA-PRDP under its Investment for Rural Enterprise for Agricultural Productivity (I-REAP) component, will establish post-harvest and marketing facilities in the seven (7) municipalities of Davao Oriental under seven cluster member cooperatives with the aim of producing and consolidating quality fermented beans for delivery to Malagos Chocolates, which is the sub-project’s identified buyer. Aside from the lead proponent group NAGMASID which is in San Isidro, the six other groups are the Panikian Cacao Small Farmers Association (PCSFA) in Banaybanay, Nagkahiusang Kristohanong Mag-uuma sa Cocornon Cooperatives (NAKMACCO) in Lupon, Governor Generoso Cacao Growers Association (GGCGA) in Governor Generoso, Limot Mandaya Tribal Multi-purpose Cooperative (LIMTRIMCO) in Tarragona, Yagakauyon na Kooperatiba sa San Ignacio in Manay, and the Davao Oriental Coconut Industry Development Coalition (DOCCIDEC) in the city of Mati.
In his speech, Governor Dayanghirang reiterated the provincial government’s unrelenting support to cacao farmers at the turnover ceremony which also coincided with Davao Oriental’s 53rd Foundation Day. “Our support will not just end after the distribution of seedlings but will continue with provisions for processing and marketing, with assistance on where to sell your products to maximize your income,” Dayanghirang said. “We produce high quality cacao beans here in Davao Oriental so our dream should be to come up with a finished product – if possible, chocolates that we can sell to other countries.”
Gov. Dayanghirang urged those in attendance to continue to work hard to make the cacao industry in their province prosper. “We at the provincial government, along with the municipal officials and the national government through the Department of Agriculture will continue to provide the assistance necessary to make this cacao project grow as long as you do your part and work hard. No one else can help us if we do not make an effort to help ourselves.”
Director Ricardo Oñate congratulated everyone for their hard work towards making this sub-project possible emphasizing the importance of partnership as a plan towards achieving the Department of Agriculture’s new directives under the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program”. He echoed the governor’s promise to continue to provide support to the farmers and fisher folk of Davao Oriental citing that this is in line with the thrust of the Department of Agriculture. “By our continued support we would in effect be hitting not just two but three birds namely, food security, livelihood for farmer and fisher folk, and livelihood for former insurgents,” Oñate said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
In total, PRDP turned over 14 solar tunnel dryers, 7 fermentation facilities, 1 warehouse, 1 cargo truck, 7 weighing scales, and three motorcycles which will be distributed to the seven cooperatives in the seven recipient municipalities of the sub-project. In addition, a P1 million check was also given as a counterpart loan care of the Provincial Cooperative Office. Aside from these, the proponent groups are also waiting for the arrival of 8 units of moisture meters which will complete the list of facilities and equipment for turn-over to the sub-project.
All in all the total cost of the sub-project is P14,524,197 and will benefit 924 households in the seven sub-project sites in Davao Oriental. (Joseph John Palarca | PSO Mindanao)