QUEZON CITY, Aug. 13 -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) signed a livelihood program partnership agreement with the Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (AFI) and Pilmico Foods Corporation to increase the household income of farmers by developing and improving their business enterprises.
DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano said the community-based partnership in under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the government.
“The partnership is geared towards a common goal of improving the lives of farmers by helping them develop their agricultural enterprises. This will be conducted by helping them establish livelihood businesses like piglet dispersal, chicken egg production and bakery business,” Mariano said.
The livelihood projects will benefit 1,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries in six provinces namely, La Union, Pampanga, Camarines Sur, Surigao del Norte, South Cotabato and Western Samar.
Prior to the agreement signing, Undersecretary for Support Services Rosalina Bistoyong said the DAR has conducted feasibility studies on the sustainability and success rate of each business endeavors.
“According to our studies, an increase in farmers’ income by 1.5 percent per month is expected. This, of course, depends on the frequency of baking, or how many eggs and pigs are sold by the farmer,” explains Bistoyong.
She said that sustainability of the starter kits (for the piglet dispersal, chicken egg production and bakery business) after a year of operation is also seen.
Under the agreement, Pilmico shall provide for the farmers their technical expertise on piglet dispersal, chicken egg production and bakery store management. Pilmico shall also deliver piglets, egg-laying hens, animal feeds, egg-laying machines, bags of baking flour and starter kits (basic appliances) for the bakery business.
The AFI, on the other hand, shall provide additional funding for the establishment of each livelihood project. The AFI would also provide capability trainings and would continuously monitor the process of establishing the livelihood projects.
DAR, for its part, shall provide microfinance services to the farmers such as loans, savings and insurance to help them gain collateral for their agri-business. The DAR would also link the farmers’ businesses to a wider market.
The signing of the livelihood program partnership agreement was held at the DAR central office in Quezon City.
Present during the signing were: Pilmico President & CEO Sabin Aboitiz, 1st VP (FVP) and COO of Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Maribeth Marasigan, FVP for Gov’t. Relations David Jude Sta. Ana of Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), AEV Manager Mirchelle de Guzman, Pilmico VP for Corporate Strategy & Business Dev’t. Santanina Castro and AEV Vice President for Gov’t. Relations Christopher Camba, DAR Underecretaries Sylvia Mallari and Karlo Bello and DAR Head Executive Assistant Luz Perez. (DAR)