SADANGA, Mountain Province, Oct. 6(PIA) - Heirloom rice farmers in this town get a boost from the Investments in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) project under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) of the Department of Agriculture with the Php 9.16 million grant for the Heirloom Rice Processing and Marketing Enterprise project.
The project involves the establishment of an heirloom rice processing center in barangay Anabel, which shall also serve as a trading center. It will be equipped with machines like rice mill where local farmers can process their heirloom rice produce. A vehicle will also be purchased to haul and deliver rice produce.
Last September 30, Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and Vice-Gov. Francis O. Tauli turned-over P 945,000 to the Anabel-Sadanga Multi-purpose Cooperative (ASMC) to procure a rice mill. This was the first tranche release of the project grant that is jointly funded by the World Bank, the Philippine Government thru DA, the provincial local government unit and the proponent group.
Mary Jane S. Tumapang, assistant department head of the Provincial Agriculture Office, said after the ASMC procured the rice mill, the amount of P1.8M to purchase o a vehicle will be released.
The realization of the heirloom rice processing and marketing enterprise will surely boost the income of local rice farmers, the Governor said as he thanked the DA- CAR and the Regional Project Coordinating Office for the PRDP interventions in the province. He assured the provincial government's support for livelihood projects to improve the lives of farmers.
ASMC Manager Ester Rose Chao-angan expressed gratitude to those that support the project.
"We are very much privileged that our provincial officials personally came to deliver the checks for our project. We are so thankful to the DA, the World Bank and to the Provincial Government for providing their respective counterparts as nowhere in the Philippines can we avail of the same huge amount of project funding," Chao-angan said.
She also thanked the Provincial Agriculture Office for the assistance in the preparation of the project proposal and the needed business plan.
According to Tumapang, business planning started in 2018. The project was approved last quarter of 2019 by the Regional Project Advisory Board composed of the regional directors of DA, Dept. of Trade and Industry, Dept. of Public Works and Highways, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Dept. of Agrarian Reform, Dept. of the Interior and Local Government, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the chairperson of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council.
Sadanga farmers are producing as many as 5 to 10 heirloom rice varieties in terraced paddies .(JDP/PIA CAR, Mt. Province with reports from Erwin S. Batnag/ MP-PIO)