Philippines - Various stakeholders gathered at the Philippine Rootcrops Research and Training Center here for the signing of memorandum and marketing agreements to implement a component of the Agrarian Reform Communities Project Phase 2 (ARCP2) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Leading the signing were private investors Early 7 Marketing (E7M) and SC Coco Global Products Inc. (SCCGPI). Both entered into marketing agreements with cooperatives that will serve as financial conduits on organic cassava and banana production.
E7M entered into an agreement with Sto. Niño Visares Multipurpose Co-op (Savimco) of Capoocan town, while SCCGPI forged an agreement with Omaganhan Farmers Multipurpose Co-op Inc. (OFMCI) of Tabango town and Zaragosa Agrarian Reform Co-op (Zarc) of Matalom town.
Under the agreements, E7M will purchase from Savimco fresh cassava tubers at a floor price of P2 per kilo delivered to the buying station, or P1.75 per kilo if picked up at the assembly area. It will also buy processed (chopped and dried) cassava at P6 per kilo. E7M will also assist Savimco in sourcing a good variety of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides on a “plant now, pay later” plan.
E7M is an agricultural product consolidator, processing and trading company based in Ormoc and contracted by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to supply dried cassava chips. It supplies the cassava needs of the BMEG feed mill, operated by SMC in Tacloban 100 kilometers away.
SCCGPI has agreed to buy from Zarc and OFMCI fresh (not too mature nor too young) bananas (cardava, aldaba and enaldaba varieties). The company, which produces and exports banana chips, buys only organic raw materials in compliance with European Union organic regulations and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Organic Program.
DAR information officer John Colasito said they chose Savimco, Zarc and OFMCI for being millionaire co-ops with farmer-beneficiaries identified by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program as members. ARCP2, which covers 16 towns in Leyte, has three components: rural infrastructure, agricultural enterprise development and community development.