LAOAG CITY – The Bacarra Zanjera Irrigators Multi-Purpose Cooperative, one of the largest cooperatives in Ilocos Norte, looks forward to consolidating agriculture and fishery products in the province to supply affordable and accessible goods to consumers in various parts of the country.
With a grant of PHP5 million from the Department of Agriculture (DA), a consolidation and trading facility will soon rise in Barangay Buyon, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte to be managed by the cooperative.
In a simple groundbreaking ceremony attended by local officials led by Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc and representatives of various national government line agencies such as the DA, Cooperative Development Authority, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on Monday, the governor lauded the efforts of the model farmers’ cooperative and the government workers behind the realization of the project to promote food security.
With the ongoing food crisis affecting the National Capital Region, Manotoc said Ilocos Norte can be one of the solutions to the problem by supplementing what is lacking in others.
Once fully operational, the Bacarra cooperative’s trading facility will serve as a marketing arm for all agricultural products of the province to cater to the needs of other provinces including Metro Manila through the DA’s enhanced “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” program.
The “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” is a collaborative project of the Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Food Terminal Inc. (FTI), a government-owned corporation.
The project aims to establish a direct link between the farmers/fisherfolk and the consuming public to ensure that farmers get the best prices for their goods while providing affordable, safe, and nutritious food to the consumers.
It will also serve as a training ground for members of the cooperative to boost their entrepreneurial skills, aside from being food producers.
“Our direction now is to be known as the little province that feeds the Philippines,” said the governor in his short speech.
Last year, the same cooperative also became a pilot site for the Ilocos garlic commercialization program with a grant of PHP23.2 million under the Philippine Rural Development Project.
The provincial government of Ilocos Norte facilitated the procurement, which provided 20 percent equity to the enterprise. (PNA)