This came after the groundbreaking of P9.5-million Organic Production Center with common service facility in Barangay Bobongon, Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte under Department of Agriculture through its Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in cooperation with provincial and municipal government.
Under the PRDP's I-BUILD (Intensified building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development) the 1,901 square meters organic center will benefit at least 655 members of the various farmers' associations with its facilities to include multi-purpose rice solar drier, cacao solar drier, cacao fermentation facility, vermi storage, vermi composting beds with shed, and warehouse.
"This project complements the province's KAAGAPAY or Kausa sa Agrikultura ug Panginabuhian sa Barangay which aims to help improve the quality of life of our farmers especially in this town," said Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib in his message during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The subproject is expected to reduced farm production cost of 25-40% due to lower prices of organic fertilizer that will be produced in the facility. It will also help farmers incur savings of hauling cost by 40% due to the proximity of the organic input producer in the farming communities.
The availability of warehouse will improve quality and increase market value of corn, rice, and cacao produce and at the same time reduce reducing postharvest losses which can be a factor in increasing farmers' income.
The facility can generate jobs of at least five skilled and 12 unskilled workers with the construction of the facilities.
DA-XI Technical Director Marila Corpuz urged all the stakeholders to fast track the implementation of the organic center for the project to contribute to DA's Plant, Plant, Plant program through increasing levels of productivity across all agricultural commodities.
Corpuz who is also the PRDP deputy project director for Region XI stressed that organically produced commodities have added-value with a niche market that is willing to pay higher price just to be ensured with healthy and safe food products.
Meanwhile, Sto. Tomas Mayor Ernesto Evangelista expressed his gratitude to the national and provincial government by pouring P126.9-million of PRDP infrastructure projects in their municipality.
PRDP is a special project of the DA jointly funded from a World Bank loan assistance with counterparts from national and local government units. | via NTProvido Photos by: Janelle T. Flores