Banana enterprise in Kalinga seen to boost farmers’ income

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The Daram-Cudal Multipurpose Cooperative (DCMPC) in Tabuk City, Kalinga is seen to increase banana farmers’ income with their enterprise subproject on Banana (Cardava) Consolidation and Marketing.

Implemented under the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), the enterprise will consolidate unripe bananas with aims of increasing the income of banana farmers and provide a ready market for their banana produce.

“This enterprise subproject will help us to encourage more of our farmer-members to shift to the production of banana because unlike corn or other crops, bananas can be grown in any weather condition,” said Juliana Salibad, DCMPC General Manager.

As an additional operation of DCMPC, the enterprise subproject will provide the banana farmer-members an opportunity to avail of technical services, post-harvest facilities, tools and equipment to address the high cost of hauling and handling of bananas and other related problems.

The price for banana produce is expected to be regulated which will lead to increase in profitability.

Salibad further shared that they were able to learn many things especially in the business planning stage of the subproject.

“Starting a business without a business plan is not easy as it seems. We realized the importance of cautiously planning how to start, how to run the business, and how to generate income,” she said.

According to Rocalyn Gayagay, Business Development Officer of the PRDP Regional Project Coordination Office-CAR (RPCO-CAR), all the items under the first tranche were already procured. This includes a 10-tonner truck, drying racks, plastic pallets, wash bins, plastic crates, trolley, and weighing scales.

A P4.7-million worth banana consolidation and trading center, which is now physically completed (as of April 10, 2021), was also constructed at Bulanao, Tabuk City. It will soon be turned over to the DCMPC including a working capital amounting to P555, 000.00 to startup their enterprise.

Overall, the enterprise has a project cost of P10.56 M funded on a cost-sharing scheme – 60 percent from the World Bank loan proceeds with counterparts from the DA (20%), the Kalinga provincial local government unit (20%), and another 20 percent equity from the DCMPC as the proponent group (PG) of the enterprise.

Since all items were already procured, Gayagay said that a ceremony will be held within this quarter for the turnover of the goods and facilities.

To date, the DCMPC is crafting the Operations Manual (OM) for their enterprise which will entail policies and sanctions on how they will effectively implement and sustain their enterprise as to their financial and organizational supervision.

“One of our future plans to sustain our enterprise subproject is to encourage our farmer-members to expand their banana production, establish partnership and market linkage within and outside the province, and process second class banana produce into ketchup, chips, among others,” said Salibad.

By Elvy Taquio Estacio

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