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Co-op’s ‘salabat’ venture gets DAR, DOST boost

By Rosalita Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte --- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned over P700,000 worth of ginger and turmeric processing facility to a cooperative in Sta. Elena town in Camarines Norte.

Alicia Almacin, chief agrarian reform program officer for Camarines Norte, said the Countryside Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CARBsMPC) received the facility designed to process “salabat,” or ginger powder.

Ginger powder will be processed using the P496,000 worth of equipment earlier given to CARBsMPC by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

CARBsMPC, which is located in Barangay Maulawin, has 166 members who will benefit from the new facility.

CARBsMPC chairperson Martin Reboquillo expressed gratitude to the government for being a source of strength for their cooperative.

“Kayong mga government agencies ang pinaghuhugutan ng aming lakas. Kahit mag-ambag ambag po ang buong mamamayan ng Maulawin, hindi po kami makakapagpatayo ng building na ganito. Kaya kami po ay malaki ang pasasalamat sa inyo,” Reboquillo said.

(We draw strength from government agencies. Even if all of us in Maulawin pool our money, we can’t build a building like this. So we are very grateful to you.)

In response, Lerma Dino, chief agrarian reform officer of the DAR Regional Office 5, advised treating the enterprise as a business endeavor.

“Plant raw materials and take care of this building for the sustainability of the enterprise,” she said.

The facility, which was funded in part by the municipal government of Sta. Elena, is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in fostering growth and development that is inclusive and sustainable, she said.

Department of Science and Technology senior research specialist Kristal Joy M. Guevarra said that to secure the Food and Drug Administration-License to Operate (FDA-LTO), product analysis and nutritional facts are required.

DOST researchers will assist in facilitating this process, she said.

Johnrey Bañares, a business counselor at the Negosyo Center of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said he intends to teach the CARBsMPC members how to create basic costing and pricing for their products.

In addition, the DTI is giving subsidies for FDA-LTO licensing, he said. (PIA 5/Camarines Norte)


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