Municipal Agricultural and
Fishery Council (MAFC)
of Sipocot, Camarines Sur
The Municipal Agricultural
& Fishery Council (MAFC) of Sipocot, Camarines Sur, a National
Gawad Saka Achiever in 2005 has sustained its strong and enduring
collaboration and partnership with the Local Government Unit
and Other agri-fishery stakeholders in planning, implementing,
promoting and monitoring agriculture and environmental projects
and has evolved into one of the most credible and dynamic councils
in the region.
Since its organization in March
17, 1987, the council has ably carried out its mandate and functions
down the barangay levels through the support and encouragement
of Local Chief Executives, Committee Chairs on Agriculture and
Environment and Barangay Officials who are always supportive
of any undertakings in their localities such as conduct and hosting
of mobile meetings and consultations, animal disease prevention
and control, Carabao Upgrading Program, monitoring of production
of crops, occurrence of pests and diseases and timely reporting
of damages brought by natural calamities, data gathering, profiling
and conduct of animal population survey, mangrove reforestation,
tree planting and the like. The council draws its strength from
its diverse membership and active BAFC volunteer leaders ably
assisting and acting as deputized technicians of the municipal
agriculture office faced with the daunting task of helping alleviate
poverty, mitigating hunger and ensuring food sufficiency in their
council is composed of fifty (50) private sector volunteers,
sixteen (16) government sector representatives and fifteen (15)
Barangay Kagawad Chairs on Agriculture serving as honorary members.
The council conducts regular monthly meetings, two of which are
held in their center and the ten (10) are on-mobile in barangays.
One noteworthy activity during mobile meetings is the conduct
of tree planting with members bringing along with them planting
materials, their share in the environmental protection. The forty-four
(44) barangays out of forty-six (46) BAFCs are fully operational
and receiving funding support for their mobilization activities.
Majority of the BAFC Chairs are at the same time elected thus
paving the way for synchronized concerted activities. Monthly
reporting of issues and concerns is being done during MAFC meetings
for immediate resolutions or referral to higher authorities.
Notable of the numerous accomplishments
as a consultative, integrative, coordinative, advocacy, advisory,
monitoring and evaluating body, MAFC Sipocot has been able to
do the following:
Sustain the Cattle Dispersal program
started in 2005.Using their prize of One Hundred Fifty Thousand
Pesos (Ps 150,000.00) as National GAWAD SAKA Achiever, the council
purchased 10 heads of cattle and carabao distributed to members.
To date, the number has rose to 19.
In support of the RaSSFiP rice
program of the DA and NFA, it was able to grant a loan amounting
to Ps 20,000.00 as farmer's equity in purchasing certified palay
seeds thereby facilitating immediate access of the program. The
amount was taken from its self-generated fund.
Timely monitoring and reporting
of damaged and typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng' stricken areas has
made it possible for rice farmers to avail of free certified
under the rehab project of DA-RFU V. In addition, the council
has strongly advocated for the use of certified seeds.
Conduct of community service and
environmental protection activities through the planting of 3,000
pieces mahogany seedlings and 9,000 pieces propagules of mangrove
and coastal clean-up, done during the mobile meetings held in
five (5) barangays' of Lubigan Sr., Binahian, Gabi, Cotmo and
Massive advocacy on organic farming
and nutrition management technology and adoption of vermi composting,
use of organic fertilizer and indigenous and locally produced
insecticide and pesticides.
Initiated the organization of Sipocot
Native Chicken Raisers Association (SINAKRA) after lobbying with
various government agencies such as DTI to adopt the native chicken
as its One Town One Product (OTOP). Majority of the native chicken
growers are council members.
Under the Carabao Upgrading Program
in partnership with National Carabao Center and Agriculture Office,
from the initial stocks of 4 pure murah buffalos, the number
has tremendously grown to more than two hundred stocks of upgraded
breeds. Majority of the farmer recipients are council members
who have formed themselves into a cooperative which is the Calabangan
Coconut Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative and is now engaged
in milk and dairy production.
Participation in the Annual Farmers
and Fisherfolks Celebration during the foundation anniversary
in June gave the council additional source of fund through selling
of members' produce where a certain percentage is contributed
to the common fund enabling the council to be self-sustaining.
Evidence of the LGU's strong trust
and confidence in the council is that the MAFC Chair is a recognized
member of the Local Development Council (LDC) and the council
is consistently being given share from the General Fund. It enjoys
a sustained financing support every year for meetings/lakbay-aral,
honoraria and traveling allowances. In 2009 and 2010, it was
given a total amount of Ps 317,303.00 and Ps 340,000.00 respectively.
The presence of private sector in the LDC all the more gives
meaning to the transparency and participatory development program
of the government. BAFC Chairs are likewise provided with transportation
allowance in attending meetings by the barangay council.
Empowerment Exchange Programs and
Capacity building activities are always part of the council's
plan serving as motivation and non-monetary benefits of being
volunteer workers. Among others, they participated in the season
long farmers Field School, Tilapia Inland Pond Preparation Training,
Plant Preparation and Techno Demos under CPAR program of DAR
and BAR. They have observed successful projects both within and
outside the region and have replicated some of them like vermi
culture composting and organic fertilizer production.
As an advisory and monitoring
body, the council advocated for stricter ordinance in curbing
illegal logging, construction of water supply system in Barangay
Malaguico, maintenance and protection of mahogany and mangrove
reforestation and production of native chicken identified as
the One Town One Province (OTOP) of their municipality.
The council was also adjudged
as one of the most Outstanding Sipocoteños Award for Social/Civic
Group sector on July 3, 2009 during the 208th foundation anniversary
of the municipality for its exemplary role as integrator, initiator
and collaborator of the LGU in sustaining crop protection program,
upgrading of local livestock industry and institutionalizing
of Coastal Resource Management.
MAFC Sipocot has made its presence
felt as a council not limited to agricultural and economic undertakings
but one with a social conscience having imbibed the spirit of
intergenerational responsibility not only serving its present
members but taking the cudgels for the future generation who
will certainly reap the fruits of its worthwhile endeavors. Changes
in leadership did not affect the council because members remain
committed to share their time, talent and treasure to be of service
to their municipality.
BFT - Gawad Kalinga Cabusao
Cabusao, Camarines Sur
PROFILE OF THE BFT
Gawad Kalinga San Rafael, Cabusao
came to know of the Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) project of the
Department of Agriculture in 2007 from LGU Agricultural Workers
in their municipality. Seizing the opportunity to enjoy the benefits
of ready food access and additional income/job generation for
their community, their leaders were determined to be a recipient
of the project.
However, they were earlier
made to realize that in order to avail of the BFT, they need
to have a legal personality to enable them to enter into contract
with any formal entity such as the DA. Such preliminary challenge
was hurdled by wielding their unwavering determination to focus
their efforts on a nobler purpose. Despite having members and
officers composed mainly of GK indigent recipients, the leaders
of the community started to build a cooperative from scratch,
helping each other in raising the required paid-up capital, with
only 27 initial members including officers. Finally on June 10,
2008 under CDA Registration No. NG-4117, GK Cabusao Multipurpose
Cooperative was born.
DESCRIPTION OF BFT OPERATION
GK Cabusao MPC now has 30 members
and is presently operating the BFT Project which helps sustain
approximately 82 households within a 1.6 hectares GK land area
from MLGU Cabusao. The BFT now serves not only the GK community
but the nearby parish-managed Dusayan Village with 180 households
and the more than 100 households in Brgy. San Rafael. Starting
their maiden operation with Php 75,000 grant from the congressional
fund of Congressman Dato Arroyo, Php 50,000 capital assistance
(in the form of NFA Rice) from DA and Php 7,500 paid-up capital
of coop-members they steered their BFT into a profitable enterprise
guided by a sound and effective management strategy.
The management team banks on
the principle that sincere intentions and transparency in financial
transactions are necessary to illicit trust and cooperation among
members. After two years of operation, their BFT is now a promising
enterprise with an average daily sales of Php8,000 and an ROI
of 36% in 2010. In strictly business and financial points of
view, this ROI still has to be stretched, sustained and further
increased to maintain a highly profitable business but more than
this, the BFT accorded the community with far-reaching economic
and social benefits tangible enough to be appreciated and accounted
by the recipients. Economically, because of the presence of BFT
San Rafael, the Gawad Kalinga, Dusayan Village and Brgy. San
Rafael residents are now provided with ready access to quality
and nutritious food without having to spend additional time and
at least Php 40.00 in transportation cost just to reach Libmanan
Municipal Market about 7 kilometers away from the Municipality
of Cabusao. Further, the selling price of agri-commodities sold
in the BFT is Php 2.00-5.00 lower than that offered in the local
market making a positive dent in the daily food expense of the
households in the area. A large number of Gawad Kalinga and Brgy.
San Rafael residents are fisherfolk engaged both in selling fresh
fish and drying marine products while some are maintaining backyard
vegetable gardens harvests from these are being sold to the BFT
giving them alternative market for their produce. BFT GK San
Rafael is also able to employ two (2) storekeepers with monthly
salary of Php1,700.00 each working on a shifting scheme to man
the daily 8-10 hours operation of the BFT.
Having achieved the specific
goal and purpose of the BFT Project for more than 2 years of
operation, the management team and the officers and members of
the GK Cabusao MPC did not rest on their achievements and instead
gave attention to the immediate needs of their community. They
were able to judicially utilize the profit/proceeds of the BFT
in significant causes such as regularly paying for the Php1,000
monthly salary of the teacher in the SIBOL Day-Care center in
GK San Rafael, construction of the open-seminar hall and acquisition
of various appliances and fixtures amounting to at least Php20,000,
concrete fencing of the GK façade amounting to Php25,000
and an immediate medical and burial assistance of Php500.00 per
member. Their cooperative also provides funding assistance for
sponsorship of livelihood and capability building seminars, provision
of meals for volunteer activities and for the procurement of
vegetable seeds for the community's backyard gardens. These minor
projects were carefully planned and consulted to officers and
members of the cooperative prior to approval and execution and
prioritized in such a way that maximum benefits will be shared
to members and the entire GK community.
All these socio-economic benefits will not redound to the community
if not for the sound management strategies being applied by the
BFT Management Team and Cooperative officials. They are steadfast
in adopting the "no credit" policy both in the purchasing
and selling of commodities in the BFT for them to maintain a
fixed monthly operating capital of at least Php90,000 to cover
the purchase of agri-fishery and poultry commodities, NFA Rice,
groceries, payment of electric and water bills and miscellaneous
expenses. They were able to accurately monitor, establish sales
trends, estimate product movements and trace the cause of discrepancies
in income versus expense through religious daily recording and
Recognizing the necessity to
sustain their BFT and cooperative and persist in benefitting
from its substantial returns for the benefit of the community,
GK Cabusao MPC is continuously taking small but sure steps towards
the expansion of their BFT operation to include acquisition of
service vehicle to enable bulk trading/marketing of their surplus
commodities such as dried and fresh marine products with other
BFTs and municipal markets, engage in value-adding and processing
of fish products and increasing the commodities sold in their
BFTs to accommodate those demanded by the consumers in the locality
in the absence of a municipal market. The cooperative also engaged
in Mudcrab Fattening on Pond Project with the Municipal LGU of
Cabusao and is in the preliminary establishment of Saline Fish
Production to increase livelihood opportunities for the residents
of the GK.
In its entirety, BFT Cabusao
is a testament of how a single noble objective of ensuring access
to quality and affordable food through the BFT can achieve ripples
of multiple benefits in the far-flung farming and fishing communities
in the municipality. Their simple formula of hardwork, genuine
concern for the brethren coupled with trust in the benevolence
and greatness of our Creator proved to be effective in achieving
enduring accomplishments, promising better rewards in years to
Bernadette delos Santos
Sta. Teresita, Baao Camarines Sur
OUTSTANDING AGRI ENTREPRENEUR
De Los Santos comes from the rural barangay of Sta. Teresita
in Baao, Camarines Sur. She the second of three children. Orphaned
by her father at the very young age of 12, her mother single-handedly
sent the three children to college. Her early experiences of
farming were mostly going to their family-owned rice fields with
her father, during harvest season. Among the three children,
she showed the greatest interest in agriculture. But her mother
enrolled her at the Ateneo de Manila University, where she earned
her B.S. in Business Management diploma, and enjoyed full scholarship
from the COCOFED.
After college, Bernadette pursued a career in the corporate world
and worked for a multi-national pharmaceutical company. This
job allowed her to travel the Philippine islands. After years
travelling the entire country, she decided she wanted to work
abroad, so she flew to London, UK, to work as the Head Cashier
of a shipping company. This job enabled her to tour Europe. She
then flew to Singapore for a better-paying job, and worked in
a cruise ship as the company's chief cashier. This exposed her
to the different cultures of Asia. When she started to paint
as her hobby, she was invited to hold an exhibit in California,
USA, and opened another door to her travelling spirit. Here she
stayed and worked and finally, in 2004, when her mother passed
away, she made the conscious decision to resettle back in Baao
and make her mark on this earth.
In 2004, she began her crusade
of establishing her dream farm. Starting with a meagre capital
and a small area, she worked her way to her eden, which she named
after her mother, who to her, is the gardener in her garden of
dreams - La Huerta de Rosario, which when translated from the
Spanish language to the English language, means, The Garden of
La Huerta de Rosario started
as an ornamentals nursery. In its ongoing evolution, in 2005,
it has turned into a vegetable farm, where Bernadette grows off-season
vegetables and earns profitably. La Huerta not only serves as
her personal garden, but in her desire to inspire and invite
people to farm again, she opened the farm to guests and in turn,
has been the arm of the Department of Agriculture in its campaign
on safe and affordable food. Bernadette built her La Huerta fruits
and vegetables store in 2008 so that people can buy her produce
straight from the farm, ensuring the freshness of the vegetables.
With her agri-enterprise, she has created jobs to numerous constituents
of her community. In 2009.
Bernadette built a training
hall at La Huerta and provided a venue for learning by letting
farmers engage in hands-on training at the farm.
In 2010, to augment her farm's productivity, she opened the La
Huerta Breakfast Place and started her 'bidibidi' catering business.
What separates her menu from those of other caterers, is her
use of vegetables freshly picked from her farm.
Today, La Huerta de Rosario is a bustling place of eden, where
students, farmers, locals and tourists alike come, visit, enjoy
and come again, to experience the joy of a harvest, the taste
of local cuisine and enjoy the true rural farm ambience, seldom
found nowadays. Bernadette, for most part of her journey at La
Huerta, has created not just a paradise but a community where
values are re-learned, simple skills are re-taught and people
are made to look back and remember that what matters more are
the simple and basic things in life.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG FARMER
Suguitao, 24 years old and 4H Club President, hails from Barangay
Cabangcalan, the Municipality of Aroroy, Island Province of Masbate.
He is the 3rd in a family of 10, 6 boys and 4 girls. At an early
age his father has exposed him to the intricacies of farming.
His constant exposure to the farming chores has developed in
him the love for tending crops and livestock.
Ripe for college, he enrolled in BS Agriculture at DEBESMSCAT,
an agriculture college in Masbate. After completing his first
year, he quit as his family could no longer afford the cost of
his education. He opted to be back in Cabangcalan, rather than
find a job in the city.
His lack of academic preparation did not matter to him. He attended
trainings and seminars, read agricultural publications, sought
technical assistance from the Municipal Agricultural Office.
Armed with the know how he ably demonstrated to the youths and
the community that farming is a profitable business enterprise
and that there are wide opportunities in farming waiting to be
nourished and nurtured.
With P500 shelled out by his landlord he planted squash in a
half hectare lot. Then he expanded his area to three (3) hectares
where he planted assorted vegetables - upo, okra, tomato, hot
pepper, watermelon, sitao, eggplant, sitao, and squash. The return
on investment is encouraging. Aggregately, he realized an income
of 214,063.00 for the years 2008 to 2010. Squash production gave
him the highest income of P69,375.00 followed by ampalaya, P49,451.oo
then eggplant P18,076.00. From animal production his income was
Anthony delivers his fresh vegetables
to FILMINERA, a mining corporation based at Puro, Aroroy with
2000 workers, Barangay bagsakan in Barangay Lanang, 8 km. away
from his farm, Aroroy Pamilihang Bayan, ang five sari-sari stores
at Brgy. Cabangcalan. He put up a makeshift stall along the road
near his farm to cater to viajeros and walk-in buyers.
Out of the profits he raked in he bought his own working animal,
water pump which he rents to other farmers, 2 units motorcycle
use as habal-habal. He also invested in swine fattening, goat
and native chicken raising and fish vending. His farming enterprises
generated employment in the barangay.
As president of the Cabangcalan 4H Club he encouraged the youths
to similarly undertake agricultural projects to gain additional
income, besides engaging in community activities. It was him
who initiated the formation of the club. Anthony is also is an
active member of the Farmers Association, BAFC grievance committee
of KALAHI CDD LPP Makamasang Tugon, a program of the DSWD. He
served as volunteer in the construction of the manpower enhancement
center, a venue for farmers training, meeting and similar activities.
In recognition of his efforts
and achievements in the promotion of agriculture in the locality
and generation of employment in the barangay, he has received
awards and commendations such as Outstanding Young Farmer given
by PAFC Masbate in 2010, certificate of recognition for giving
pride to the barangay being one of the Top Producers of Vegetable
in the Municipality of Aroroy presented by the Barangay Council
of Cabangcalan in 2009 and Best Vegetable Producer Award given
by LGU Aroroy in 2010.
Anthony has proven that with strong determination to succeed
and the willingness to learn from experts and adopt modern and
environment friendly methods of farming, one can do his share
in the enhancement of agriculture and have a better life.
Anthony will continue to be a model among the youths, and a pride
Esperanza A. Gross
Paraiso, Milagros, Masbate
OUTSTANDING LARGE ANIMAL RAISER
A. Gross is not an agriculturist by profession, yet she was able
to create her niche in the livestock industry in the island province
She started with 10 heads cattle
in a five hectare farm located in Barangay Paraiso, municipality
of Milagros. She developed this area fully well banking on her
exposures to farms abroad and attendance to trainings and seminars
and tutelage of the Department of Agriculture. Sixty five percent
of her cattles are American Brahman from Australia.
In 2010, she has 20 heads of
cattle, 1 bull, 1 yearling, 9 calves and 5 heads of carabao,
1 yearling, 2 caracalves and 50 fowls. She is also into mango
production and palay seed production. She is an advocate of organic
farming and use of biocontrol measures to control pests and diseases.
Her farm is equipped with modern
corral made of GI pipes with drinking trough, a squeezer to control
animals during treatment and artificial insemination, automatic
shower for treating external parasites, windmill to supply water
for the animals and crops. She has also established pasture grasses.
Care and management of animals
is maintained thru regular administration of hemosep vaccination,
animal deworming, fecal examination, and vitamin dispensing.
Her cattle and carabao breeding
had generated an income of P265,400.00 in 2009 and P457,400.00
in 2010. Income from other agricultural ventures totalled P696,618.00
in 2010. She has put up two hotels - MG and Sea Blick - for additional
Her farm enterprises employ
4 regular workers with pay ranging from P2,000 to P4,000 with
the benefit of SSS and Philhealth and for extra work they get
an additional of P750 per week.
Ms. Gross makes it a point
to reach out to the community by way of providing livelihood
to her kabarangays. Her swine dispersal has benefited 30 recipients,
with the farm workers as the initial recipients. Her regular
farm workers are also a recipient of cattle dispersal. Moreover,
livelihood projects are given to rural women and education for
the youths, thereby strengthening their productive capacity.
Ms. Gross is actively involved
in different civic organizations such as treasurer and board
of trustees of Rodeo Masbateño Inc.; secretary of Masbate
Brahman Breeders Association; Board of Director of Masbate Seedgrowers
Association and member of the Cattle Raisers Association of Masbate.
In recognition of the contributions
in the improvement of the livestock industry, Ms. Gross was recognized
as Magsasaka Siyentista for Livestock of FITS Masbate, a PCARRD,
BCCARD, DA LGU, DEBESMCAT project based in Masbate City.
Her able leadership as Punong
Barangay of Barangay Paraiso, her notable accomplishments in
livestock and crop production, her all-out-effort to reach out
to the community providing employment and livelihood, made Esperanza
A. Gross an accomplished livestock raiser whose contributions
have enhanced the livestock productivity and profitability.