DAR, Pilmico forge livelihood packages for CamSur agrarian reform beneficiaries
NAGA CITY --- Livelihood packages, as well as technical trainings, will be provided to selected agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) and farmer-members in order to help increase their household incomes through easy-to-manage businesses with quick return of investments. On February 27, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) here and Pilmico Foods Corporation, a food subsidiary of Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (AFI), recently entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that seeks to make available sustainable livelihood and income opportunities to agrarian reform beneficiaries across the province. Under the agreement, Pilmico will be providing the livelihood packages as well as technical assistance to farmer-recipients while DAR will extend microfinance services in the form of loans to help them gain collateral for their agri-businesses. Twelve piglets (3 piglets per beneficiary) to four (4) farmer-recipients who are members of Pacol Magsasaka Prime Community (PMPC) in Naga City were distributed. DAR Undersecretary Bernie Cruz in his message expressed his support to further strengthen and improve partnership with Pilmico consistent with the DAR’s mandate to provide support services such as enterprise development programs to those living in the countryside. For her part, Camarines Sur II agrarian reform chief Maria Gracia R. Sales hoped the agreement can do “even more to help the farmers and their organizations to be successful partners for growth.” Aside from piglet dispersal, Pilmico also set to provide 6 kits of egg machines to farmers’ organizations that will be selected by DAR. Each kit contains 48 heads of Ready-to-Lay (RTL) hens, galvanized steel cages, feeders, nipple drinkers, water gallon containers, and one month feed consumption. The succeeding feed requirements will be shouldered by the organization-recipients. An ‘egg machine’ is a backyard farming starter kit that allows the continuous production of eggs in a period of 16 months. The Ready-to-Lay hens have a life span of 16 months while the cages can last for 10 years. In a day, a flock or kit can produce up to 96 percent of eggs or about 46 eggs per kit. Said livelihood packages formed part of Pilmico’s flagship advocacy program, “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin,” a campaign introduced in mid-2014 to push sustainable entrepreneurship through promotion of locally produced foods. This community-based partnership is under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the government. Present during the signing were DAR Undersecretary Bernie Cruz, Camarines Sur II Agrarian Reform Chief Maria Gracia R. Sales, Pilmico AEV VP for Government Relations Christopher Camba, and Pilmico VP for Corporate Strategy & Business Development Santanina Castro.