Department of Agriculture lead by Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio (1st from left) and Undersecretary for Admin and Finance Atty. Francisco Villano, Jr. (3rd from left) hands over the certificate of turn over for the Rice Processing Center I to Bukluran Multipurpose Cooperative on January 16.
Department of Agriculture-MIMAROPA turned over Rice Processing Center I to Bukluran Multipurpose Cooperative in Bgy. San Aquilino, Roxas, Oriental Mindoro on January 16.
To date, this is the 9th RPC that was given by DA-MIMAROPA to farmers' coop in the Region.
The RPC is consist of one (1) unit of multipass rice mill with a capacity of 1.0 ton per hour, 216 sq. meter warehouse, one (1) unit weighing scale, and one (1) unit portable moisture meter.
The ceremony was witnessed by the farmer-members of the cooperative and DA staff. It was graced by Municipal Mayor Violeta Dimapilis, Provincial Agriculturist (PA) Christine Pine, Bgy. Chairman Ernesto Catapang, DA-MIMAROPA Institutional Development Unit Focal Person Marietta Alvis, Agriculture Provincial Coordinating Officer Engr. Colleta Quindong, DA-MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio, and Undersecretary for Admin and Finance Atty. Francisco Villano, Jr..
The guests and attendees were welcomed by Bgy. Chairman Catapang and wished for the progress of the cooperative in his message.
Mayor Dimapilis also took center stage to give her well-wishes for the cooperative and expressed her gratitude to the DA for the RPC I. She sees that these RPC can lessen the farmers’ dependence on private rice millers because the facility promises a more efficient and affordable post-harvest processing.
She also cited that financing will be easier for the farmer-members of the coop because of the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), DA’s accessible and affordable credit program for farmers.
“Magkakaroon na ng kaganapan ang PLEA sa (Oriental) Mindoro at (isa sa) makikinabang diyan ang samahan ng Bukluran,” she announced. The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has awarded 20 million to Saklaw Foundation last year being their conduit for the program.
While PA Pine stressed out the importance of having the RPC. She shared that Philippine has a total of 16.47% post-harvest losses that is equivalent to 2.81 million metric ton of palay which amounts to P50 billion pesos.
“Kaya ito po ang kahalagahan ng proyekto ng pagbibigay ng RPC ng Department of Agriculture. Dahil dito 12% ang na-address na losses kapag meron tayong maayos na rice processing center,” she said.
With the benefits it brings to the farmers, Director of DA-MIMAROPA askedthe farmers’ coop to manage the RPC properly and make it make it even more progressive.
“Sana pahabain ninyo ang buhay nitong (RPC) at sana maraming magsasaka ang makinabang,” he uttered in his message. He also asked to support the Department’s Corporate Rice Farming Program (CRFP), a program of the DA that engages local farmers’ coop to institutional buyers.
Undersecretary Villano also emphasized the CRFP and suggested to supply rice to Boracay which is just a three to fours hours away from the province via RoRo.
“Thousands ang guests doon everyday kung saan madami ang kumakain ng bigas, ng itlog, ng manok. Ibig sabihan niyan ang opportunity ay malapit lang sa inyo. Bakit hindi natin sila supply-an kesa pumunta pa sila sa Manila?” he said with a promise that DA would make ways to look for sure buyers in the island.
He also mentioned that he and Director Gerundio has been planning to talk to vessel companies to ask for a possible discount for farmers who will import rice in the island.
Along with this, he asked the coop to maintain high-quality rice and delivery should always be on time.
The Coop’s President, Lucilo Catapang take on the challenge and promises to take care of the RPC. He advocated for the farmer's unity to supply the needed quantity and quality that will be asked by their future buyers.
He also expressed his gratitude for the rice transplanter and the combine harvester that they received last year. He shared that they have been earning at least half-million pesos by using the combine harvester.
After the short program, USec Villano and the other guests witnessed the test run of the RPC’s rice miller.