LEGAZPI CITY – The offices in Bicol of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-5) and Department of Science and Technology, along with the local government unit (LGU) of Bula in Camarines Sur province, have expressed their intent to help the Sto. Niño Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SNMPC) increase its cassava “kropek” (snack) production and ensure a stable market for it.
In a statement on Wednesday, DAR Camarines Sur OIC chief Ricardo C. Garcia said the aid will be in the form of funds for the purchase of equipment.
The project is part of the DAR and DOST convergence programs, which seek to increase and improve the production of cassava “kropek” (fried crackers or chips) to meet growing consumer demand and make the cooperative more competitive, he added.
The project, according to Garcia, will be implemented over a three-year period.
He said the SNMPC, as the project’s beneficiary, will receive PHP335,110 in total.
“DOST 5 will provide PHP289,610, while LGU Bula will give PHP30,000 and another PHP9,000 from DAR Camarines Sur 1. The SNMPC, on the other hand, has agreed to provide PHP6,500 to the project,” he said.
Patrocinio Felizmenio, DOST-Camarines Sur director, expects the project to be a stepping stone to a greater effort and as sustainable as other DOST-supported projects.
SNMPC chairperson Augusto Consorte assured that the funding will be utilized entirely to improve their cassava kropek and other products such as mushroom food seasoning.
“We will do this not only for our cooperative but for the entire community of Bula,” he said.
The SNMPC was formed on Aug. 6, 1993, and registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on March 5, 2010. (PNA)