Tayabas corn association becomes self-sufficient with PRDP enterprise
TAYABAS CITY, QUEZON – Ever since Erwin Medallada started planting corn in his rented land, he depends on lenders for his capital. When he sells his harvest, majority of his profit goes to loan payment; what is left is just enough for the education of his five children. Other members of the Calumpang Corn Growers Association (CCGA) experience the same situation.
Their involvement in the Corn Production Plant Now, Pay Later of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the first I-REAP subproject completed in the region, changed their usual story into a positive scenario.
“Noong mga panahong iyon, walang-wala akong maipuhunan sa darating na panahon ng pagtatanim. Nabanggit ko iyon minsan kay Kapitana at nabanggit niya na mayroon ngang negosyong pautang na binhi at materyales ang grupo para sa mga miyembro nito na walang interes. Dahil ito sa proyekto ng PRDP. Doon ako naenganyo kasi makakatulong ito sa amin (That time, I don’t have capital for the planting season. I once told our barangay captain about this and she told me that the association has a Plant Now, Pay Later scheme for its members with zero interest through PRDP’s subproject. I was encouraged to join because this would help us),” he added.
Barangay Captain of Calumpang, Rosa Maria Quindoza, also a member of the CCGA, pushed the group to take on this project. She saw this as an opportunity that can directly improve the lives of the farmer-members and boost the industry of corn in their area.
Medallada and Quindoza are just some of the CCGA members who already reaped their first bounty harvest from the subproject which started in November 2017. According to Medallada, he was able to earn P93,960 from his 1-hectare land in April 2018. He attributed the higher income to the good quality seeds provided by the association.
Now that the CCGA will provide planting materials through the enterprise, the farmers will no longer worry about their capital for the next cropping seasons. The payment collected from the sold produce will serve as the association’s fund for the next planting season.
For the CCGA President Abraham Raniel Sayas, the enterprise will complement their association’s primary income from the drying facility provided by the corn banner program of the Department of Agriculture. The association can now afford to buy the members’ harvest at a price higher than the commercial rates to ensure that their produce will have fair and readily accessible market. “Makakasigurado po ang aming mga kasama sa samahan na tama ang presyo na maibibigay sa kanila at di sila maagrabyado (Our members will be assured that what is paid to them is commensurate and fair),” Sayas stated as he expounded on their enterprise operation strategy.
This opportunity also attracted more farmers to engage in the industry resulting in higher volume of corn production. “Mabuti nga po at dumadami na po yung mga corn production dito sa amin. Mas dumarami po ung aming products, mas pinapasok po kami ng market at mas nakikila rin po yung aming lugar (The increased corn production is good for the barangay. It yielded more products and attracted more markets)”, Quindoza stated.
She also observed that through the subproject, the CCGA members became more active and united. They now regularly meet to discuss concerns and share knowledge on planting techniques and prevailing market price so that no one gets left behind.
The microenterprise subproject benefits the 66 CCGA farmer-members. ### (Rio Christine Bustamante, PRDP PSO South Luzon and Lawrence Albert Bariring, PRDP CALABARZON RPCO)