IT DOES not take millions of cash for a group to start and run a livelihood business in the rural areas and earn a good income for its members.
It takes a little of good things to make it happen, according to Mr. Benny Mangili, Marketing Analyst, Charmp2 Scaling-Up Project-Benguet Province.
Mr. Mangili was co-presenter of the Benguet Provincial Coordination Office (PCO) 2019 first quarter accomplishments during the Scaling Up of the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project (Charmp2 Scale-Up) Agribusiness and Agriculture Income Generating Activities (AAIGA) Assessment held last April 3, 2019, at the Ritz Hotel, Legarda Road, Baguio City.
Top officials of the Charmp2 Scale-Up to include Dr. Cameron P. Odsey, Jerry Damoyan, AAIGA Component Coordinator, Gabriel Pacio, PCO-Benguet; and Dr. Rosemarie Tesoro, PCO-Abra and Provincial AAIGA staff were present during the assessment.
Part of Mangili’s presentation concerns the interventions of the Charmp2 Scale-Up with the Pongayan Credit Cooperative (PCC) based in Pongayan, Kapangan, Benguet.
Barangay Pongayan was selected as a coverage area of the Charmp2 Scale-Up because it is among the poorest barangays of Kapangan.
Prior to the entry of the Project in the area, Pongayan is among those experiencing accessibility problems.
This concern was responded to by the Project with the improvement of its Farm-to-Market Roads (FMR) and foot trails.
For livelihood, the PCC prepared a business plan involving the procurement of agricultural inputs for swine and vegetable production.
The plan covered the procurement of piglets, feeds, vitamins, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and Polyethylene Plastic that were sold to the members for their farming use.
The plan also sought to enhance their marketing tie-ups (buyers and sellers), and the production of bell pepper, which is the community’s main crop.
In support of the PCC livelihood business plan, the Charmp2 Scale-Up provided a livelihood Assistance Fund (LAF) of P500,000 to the group.
The PCC bell pepper production highlights how development interventions can enhance commodity-based livelihood to improve income and strengthen small farmer organizations in helping their members to improve their living standards, reported Mr. Mangili.
First, most of the members of the organization are already familiar with the production of bell pepper.
Through consultations and meetings with the group, the PCO-Benguet and its LGU partners found out that the competitiveness of the enterprise can yet be enhanced if producers will be trained on good agricultural practices (GAP).
Next, the Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative was identified as the most appropriate consolidator for the PCC bell pepper production.
The Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative is seeking and identifying willing partners who will be intensively trained on GAP in the production of bell pepper.
In coordination with the Provincial and Municipal LGUs, the members of the PCC are now on the process of GAP certification.
Meanwhile, the bell pepper produce of the PCC’s members is constantly monitored and processed following GAP standards.
Production following GAP is the main criterion observed by the Taloy Sur Multipurpose cooperative in buying the bell pepper supplied by the PCC members.
The members of the PCC bring their produce at the Bagsakan Center in Lomon, Paykek, Kapangan, Benguet where these are sorted, repacked in crates, and picked up by the Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative.
According to Mr. Mangili, the Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative buys only medium-sized bell pepper at P84 per kilo.
The small and large-sized bell peppers are sold by the PCC in the local market or trading centers.
The procured bell peppers are soon brought by the Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative to the Jollibee Commissary Center in Canlubang, Laguna.
The delivery of the PCC’s bell pepper to Laguna by the Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative is done twice a month.
Mr. Mangili said that the support of the municipal LGU, especially Mayor Manny Fermin in the implementation of Charmp2 Scale-Up have been a source of inspiration by the farmers and their partners in following through with joint efforts to make small farmers organizations succeed with their livelihood businesses and development pursuits.
With the success of the PCC-Taloy Sur Multipurpose Cooperative buyer-seller marketing tie-up, Mr. Mangili is now recommending that the other barangays of Salat and Tumpic will join the relationship in a three-clustered tie-up.
If even small things, i.e. investments, are appreciated and well managed, by the local populace, please keep the investments and support for more pouring in that place.