“Kung hindi dahil sa DA na nagbigay sa amin ng chili seeds, malamang hindi na kami nakabangon mula sa pagtama sa amin ni Pablo”, (Had it not been for the help of DA, we will never get back on our feet).This was the testimony of Junuel Batao, a member of Subangon Dumang Makers (SDM) which is a small processing enterprise that produces chili powder from “siling labuyo”both from Open Pollinated and hybrid varieties which is locally known as “dumang”.The major production areas are found in Barangays Taytayan, Maglahus, Malibago, Aliwagwag, Abijod, Aragon and Alfonso in Cateel, Davao Oriental.
Based on the data from DA, the 30 hectare chili planted areas in Cateel with a potential production volume of 150 kilograms were totally damaged by Typhoon Pablo. The DA-RFO XI through High Value Crops Development Program immediately provided 500 packs of planting materials wherein one pack is good for one thousand square meters area and the seeds were planted to 50 hectares in different municipalities and barangays in Cateel.
Edgardo Arisola, Chairman of SDM said that they now explore in marketing fresh and dried chilli forms with a selling price of 500 pesos per kilo with a return of investment of 36 to 40 percent.
In 2013, they were able to produce 2,700 kilos of processed chilli powder with its major markets Porky’s Best, Kablon Farms, Green Mindanao and other institutional markets within the region such as malls like SM.
Secretary Proceso Alcala who visited recently the chili growers to personally assess the progress of the rehabilitation of the typhoon affected agricultural areas in Cateel said that DA is committed to continue providing the additional farming needs of the people of Cateel and the other calamity-ravaged areas.
“Kabilin-bilinan ng ating pangulo na lahat ng tinamaan ng bagyo ay huwag pababayaan.Tayoy magtutulungan na maibangon po ang inyong kabuhayan”,Alcala said. (The president asked us to aid the typhoon affected farmers. Let us help each other to build back your livelihood).
Part of DA Chief’s interaction with the Chili producers was to witness the joint marketing agreement signing between Vieva Philippines Incorporated (VPI) as the buyer to initially purchase 2,500 kilograms of chili powder amounting to 1.15 million pesos and SDM. VPI intends to export the so-called “hot pablo” to Guam, USA.
Pipelined 2014 interventions of DA-HVCDP (Regular Fund) to the chili growers include two units each of grinders and multi-commodity solar dryers and UV film worth 680 thousand pesos. On the other hand, Pablo Rehabilitation funds for 2014 is expected to assist the farmers with the procurement of seeds which will cover the expansion areas to cope with the demand.
The Chili Industry in Cateel and the rest of the producing municipalities in Davao Oriental will be asssisted not only by DA but also DTI, DSWD and DOLE in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental and the Municipal Governments.
The “Hot Pablo” name was coined by the Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Rene Almendras in one of the CABSEC meetings to review the budget proposal of the Livelihood Cluster which was attended by DA OIC-RED Remelyn R. Recoter and now OIC-RTD Ma. Febe T. Orbe.(Aggie Media Service)