Pandi, Bulacan – AGRARIAN REFORM Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes led the turn-over ceremony of a P13.5-million post harvest facility to the farmer-beneficiaries of 3M3BC agrarian reform community (ARC) in barangay Bunsuran, Pandi, Bulacan.
The 240 sq. m. facility, which was constructed inside the vicinity of the Manatal Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), will serve as the trading center for palay for 695 farmers of 3M3BC ARC and some 400 farmers more who are members of the Cooperative in Magiting ARC cluster.
Delos Reyes learned that Manatal MPC will be the consolidator and marketing arm of the farmer-beneficiaries to ensure higher price of their farm produce. “The Manatal MPC has a marketing tie-up with eight rice traders in different municipalities of Bulacan whose total annual market demand is 1,292,040 cavan supply of palay on daily basis,” he said.
The palay warehouse, constructed under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project phase III (ARISP III), is funded under Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA) with the other funds shouldered by local government of Bulacan and by the Manatal MPC.
Yojiro Sekiguchi, ARISP III Consultant, said the warehouse could store 10,000 cavans of palay and its 780 sq. m. concrete surrounding would serve as solar dryer for the farm yields.
Prior to the turn-over ceremony, Delos Reyes also joined out-going Israeli Ambassador Zvi Vapni to inspect a techno-demo farm, also in the same barangay. There is a project of Philippine-Israel Center for Agricultural Training phase (PICAT II).
The PICAT II is a collaborative undertaking of the State of Israel and the Government of the Philippines and is jointly implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and concerned LGUs.
Vapni said the 250 sq. m. productive farm produces a variety of vegetables that includes tomatoes, eggplants, papayas, string beans, and peppers among others. “The technology and knowledge employed by the farmers to their farms are results of the numerous trainings conducted by PICAT II,” he added.
“When I leave your country next week, one of the things I would miss is the sight of your beautiful farms and the smiles of Filipino farmers,” Vapni said. “Lastly, I would like to thank you for giving our Israeli agricultural experts the opportunity to share our agricultural technologies that our country is noted for,” he added.
Farmer-beneficiary Alfredo Mendoza, who witnessed the two events, couldn’t contain his gratitude to the government. “I am very excited for this project, after the agricultural education we acquired from various trainings conducted by PICAT, we have now a very huge storage for our farm harvests,” he said. Dir. Hugo D. Yonzon III, PAS-DAR