POLOMOLOK, SOUTH COTABATO --- Five tractors were turned-over recently to farmers here to further boost implementation of cassava granule production and marketing under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
“We are moving forward. The five cooperatives continue our positive and upbeat implementation of the project,” said Polo Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative(Polo SNMPC) Chairman Raul Gerada in his acceptance message during the ceremony.
Polo SNMPC is the lead proponent of the P39-million enterprise together with other cluster members: Self-Reliant MPC, San Jose MPC, Pobusilla MPC, and Topland MPC. They were initially released P20 million to jumpstart the implementation in June last year.
At least 250 cassava farmers directly benefitted from the enterprise when the project started last year. The clusters aim to increase beneficiaries by 40 percent every year of implementation.
“I am thankful to the strong leadership and partnership of the Department of Agriculture led by Secretary Proceso Alcala, the DA 12 headed by Regional Executive Director Amalia Jayag-Datukan, and the Local Government Unit of South Cotabato under Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes for making things happen,” Gerada said.
In a separate interview, Polo SN MPC Manager Karen Daguro said that the tractors will be used to make land preparation of the existing 250-hectare cassava farm easier and more efficient, and expansion of their farm areas.
“Part of cassava granule production project includes construction of nursery for planting materials, acquisition delivery/hauling trucks, setting-up truck-scale, postharvest and processing facilities such as granulators, mechanical chipper, solar dryer, warehouse, and organic fertilizer plant,” Daguro said.
In November last year the first wave of farm inputs comprised of cassava granulators and cassava chippers here handed to the cluster members.
Daguro said that they will turnover soon trucks and additional moisture meters which are now ready for procurement.
PRDP is a six-year government platform designed for an inclusive, value chain-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. It will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture and jointly funded by the World Bank, national government and local government units. (PRDP RPCO12/PSOMindanao)