The RPAB 1 approved a Php23-million garlic enterprise which is the biggest enterprise subproject yet in Luzon A Cluster during its 19th meeting, February 7. (Photo by Alex B. Belgica, RPCO 1 InfoACE)

Php23-million Garlic Enterprise gets RPAB approval

Date Published: February 14, 2019

The Commercialization of Ilocos Garlic: the White Gold Treasure of the North Enterprise worth Php23,171,960 obtained the endorsement of the Regional Project Advisory Board 1 (RPAB1) in its 19th meeting held at the 5th Floor DA Conference Room, San Fernando City, La Union on February 7.

The Bacarra Zanjera Irrigators Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BZIMPC) is the proponent of the Php23-million garlic enterprise. It will make money by buying the produce of garlic farmers in Ilocos Norte whether a member or non-member of the BZIMPC and selling to institutional buyers.  The garlic produce of the Ilocos Norte farmers will undergo drying and sorting to sell at a premium market price.

The BZIMPC proposed to produce 80 Metric Tons (MT) of garlic in its first year of operation. However, the RPAB, led by Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Executive Director Lucrecio R. Alviar Jr., CESO III, suggested increasing the target to 100 MT or even higher. According to DA RFO 1 Field Operations Chief Annie Q. Bares, the Philippines is only three percent sufficient in garlic production and Ilocos Region contributes 60% to the country’s total garlic production. The Board unanimously agreed for the Cooperative to maximize the opportunity that PRDP will provide through increasing its target.

The enterprise proposal, likewise, includes a consolidation facility worth Php5.6 million. The facility will serve as storage for consolidated garlic and accommodate post-harvest activities of the Cooperative. The Board, however, suggested adopting the standard design of post-harvest facilities for garlic. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Engr. Vilmaflor Gascon noted that the proposed design of the Cooperative needs better ventilation.

The BZIMPC passed through the stringent shortlisting process of the PRDP’s enterprise component in August 2018. It is included in the list of cooperatives with good standing by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and has an existing profitable agricultural venture in PRDP’s priority commodities.

Before proposing a garlic enterprise, the BZIMPC also received and successfully implemented a Php1.3-million Corn and Livestock Integration and Trading Enterprise under the Small Livelihood Project (SLP) of Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in 2017. #Dessa U. Estrada, RPCO 1 InfoACE

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