THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gave P1.19 million worth of farm equipment to boost the economic livelihood of an association of rubber farmers in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Rosevirico Tan, DENR regional information officer, said the recipient of the assistance of the rubber creeping machine set is an upland farmers' association known as the Calula Community-Based Forest Management (CCBFM), which is into rubber farming in the town of R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Samuel Lastimado, CCBFM president, said the machine is a great support in the semi-processing of rubber, which is their main source of livelihood.
"The rubber creeping machine is a big help for us as this will add value to our harvested rubber," Lastimado said during the turnover of the machine Tuesday, April 6.
Lastimado added that the machine has the capacity to process around one ton of rubber daily and will be made available to all of his members in the association.
The CCBFM is a peoples' organization who are beneficiaries of the National Greening Program (NGP) and Community-Based Forest Management Program wherein they were able to establish a total of 215 hectares of rubber plantation since 2011.
DENR Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez has advised the association members to work together and continue to sustain their livelihood and eradicate poverty in the uplands.
R.T. Lim Vice Mayor Michael Piodema said the rubber livelihood project will really help the people in Calula village to uplift their financial stability.
Piodema is optimistic CCBFM will manage it wisely and become a role model to other upland communities.
Ronald Gadot, DENR assistant regional director for technical services, said the members of the association should cooperate and have that spirit of livelihood where there is full of life and energy.
"Let this small assistance grow until you will achieve progress under the spirit of sharing and collaboration," Gadot added. (SunStar Zamboanga)