DTI 7 hands farmers equipment-A A +A
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 turned over yesterday P498,000 worth of equipment to the Cantipay Farmers Association (CFA) in Carmen, Cebu under its Shared Service Facility (SSF) program.
CFA, which has 150 members, received equipment such as desiccated dryer machine, de-shelling machine, coconut meat grinding machine, five carbonizing drums and briquetting machine for the production of desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil and charcoal briquettes.
According to DTI 7, the technological upgrade of agri-based products in Carmen is part of a response to the need to make developments in agricultural product/commodity go down to the community level. It also addresses market demand for fair trade.
The SSF project aims to improve the quality and productivity of microenterprises and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by addressing gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain through the common use of processing machines and equipment.
DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte said the SSF is one way to create more opportunities for the so-called “bottom base of society” to benefit from the country’s economic growth.
Aside from the equipment, the DTI will also be conducting trainings with project proponents on food manufacturing and recycling, in partnership with the Southern Partners and Fair Trade Center, Inc. (SPFTC).
The total cost of the SSF project in Carmen is P1.021 million.
Products of CFA will be supplied to SPFTC, who will then market it. Brgy. Catipay in Carmen, Cebu is one of the 10 identified communities of SPFTC for SSF projects. These communities have abundant raw materials for various export products.
“What we are doing here is empowering communities...that they will not be limited to supplying just raw materials to the market but finished products for local and export requirements. This upgrade increases their productivity and income as well as open opportunities for communities to participate in the global supply chain,” said SPTFC managing director Geraldine Labradores.
She noted that desiccated coconut, which is a raw material for virgin coconut oil, has a huge demand in Canada, Italy and Japan. Charcoal briquettes, on the other hand, have a big market in countries like Korea, Japan and USA.
Carmen is a third class municipality in the northeastern coast of Cebu province. Its main products are corn, coconut and sugar. CFA is a Dole-accredited association established in 2006. Its source of income is farming and fishing.
CFA chairman Erlinda Into said the SSF is a big help to their community now that they are experiencing waning interest from the youth in farming.
“We are grateful for this project because this will improve our livelihood. We now have a ready buyer for our products,” she said.
Aside from SPTFC, Caberte assured the CFA members that DTI will continue to help the community gain market access.
Other target markets include the bakeshops at the municipal level for desiccated coconut and restaurants and eateries selling grilled food for coconut charcoal.
DTI 7 was allotted a P29 million SSF budget for 2013 and P36 million for this year.
DTI Cebu Business Development Division chief Elias Tecson said the Carmen SSF is still part of the 2013 budget. The agency recently turned over SSF projects in Balamban and Alegria.
They are set to launch and turn over SSF projects in Minglanilla, Aloguinsan, Sibonga, Naga, Toledo, Carcar and Inayawan in the coming months.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 09, 2014.