Bosigan farmers pump up their production through PRDP’s SLP
Liby Ngaseo, 53, a farmer and a member of Bosigan Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Balili, Mankayan, Benguet has been a recipient of the Tomato Production assistanceunder Greenhouse Condition enterprise subproject funded under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA PRDP).
Like the other members of the cooperative, Ngaseo has been tending a 2,500 square meter greenhouse in Bosigan planted with romaine and tomato, consecutively. According to her, the farm implements they received from the PRDP have been of great help especially in ensuring the safety of their crops during extreme weather conditions.
“We have been continuously planting vegetables even before benefiting from the PRDP and with this project, we were very willing to give our counterparts so that we would receive the materials we have requested,” she added.
With a total cost amounting to one million pesos, the Bosigan MPC received 17 rolls of polyethylene sheets, 100 units of GI pipes, and three (3) water tanks last July 2018. Some farm implements are yet to be delivered (crates and hand tractor).
For this subproject, 16 farmer-members with existing greenhouses were first benefited. Since their cooperative does not have a post-harvest facility, members usually sell their produce individually. Some of whom entered into agreements with institutional buyers but none as a cooperative.
Way back during the preparation of their proposal in 2016, Ngaseo recalled their experience when they tried to link with a prospective market outlet outside the region. According to the members, the linkage was successful during the first two months. The cooperative met their demands successfullly but the buyer did not give the payment on the agreed date and ran away. Since then, the cooperative never entered into another market agreement outside the region.
Market linkage remains to be one of the top challenges that farmers face nowadays but the security and sustainability of their produce comes first.
“We were victims of typhoon Ompong last September 2018, the greenhouse materials and farm implements we received were really helpful for we have something to replace/rehabilitate our damaged greenhouuses,” said Abraham Pecsoy, a member of Bosigan MPC and a recipient of the subproject.
To sustain the project, the recipients of the greenhouse materials have given P5,000.00 each to the cooperative to be used for its lending services. As for the tractor, the cooperative members intend to rent it to the other members and non-members for income generation.
Regardless of their past experiences, the members of the cooperative are still hopeful for a better market linkage within or outside the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) since most of them are already certified practitioners of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Likewise, with the interventions of the PRDP, target production volume will be met and eventually will be able to respond to the increasing demands of the market. **ELVY S. TAQUIO (DA PRDP RPCO-CAR InfoACE Unit)