LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform in Bicol (DAR-5) has been helping small farmers' cooperatives in remote villages of Albay province to grow their livelihood by giving them access to financial services and granting them crop production support.
One of the beneficiaries of DAR interventions is the Quipia Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Cooperative (QARBC), which has 121 farmer-members in Cabraran Grande, a distant highland barangay in Jovellar town that was recently granted a pili nut and meat processing center. In an interview on Tuesday, Gerard Buensalida, DAR-5 spokesperson, said QARBC asked for the agency's help through the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) in financing their crop production project and expanding to other businesses. "DAR constructed the processing center through the Village Level Farm Focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) project amounting to PHP570,000 and through earnings from their microfinance program, the co-op was able to fund the building of their machinery shed, which cost PHP150,000, and contributed PHP80,000 as their counterpart for the pili and meat processing center," he said. The cooperative now also runs a farm input dealership and rents out post-harvest equipment ...
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