POLANGUI, ALBAY- Ever heard of muscovado sugar? In the upland barangay of Balaba, this municipality, over 500 hectares of coconut areas are planted with sugarcane. Thus, two muscovado milling facilities are thriving here and helping the organic muscovado industry gain ground in the local market.
The Arim’s Muscovado milling facility owned by couple Arnel and Maricel Base is one of the milling facilities being supported by the local government of Polangui and other government agencies. Arnel and Maricel started in the sugarcane business in 2010. They loaned P139,000 from the CARD Inc. for the establishment of the simple milling facility then. The CARD Inc. also provided Arnel some training on muscovado processing in Ilocos Norte. Eventually, they acquired a sugarcane crusher or juicer and pulverizer from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Maricel is the president of the Polangui Organic Calamay Muscovado Producers and Farmers Association (POCAMPROFA). It has 29 members and was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a legit farmers’ organization in January 2016.
“Sa pagtanom ning seaweeds inaasahan kong matatawanan ko ning magayon na harong an pamilya ko asin mapatapos sa pagklase an mga aki ko.” (In planting seaweeds, I hope to give my family a comfortable home and to let my children finish their studies).
This was the inspiring answer of Mr. Comprencio Olitan, Chairman of Biga Farmers and Fishermen Association (BFFA), when asked if he can see any future in growing seaweeds.
Like any other pillar of the house, Olitan wants what’s best for his family, he dives at least five feet together with the other members of the association just to grow seaweeds using deep-sea floating rope method. He doesn’t complain with the harsh heat of the sun nor the strong waves of the sea due to northeast wind.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported interventions under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) covers five (5) Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Bicol Region particularly in the province of Sorsogon and Masbate.
GEF aims to strengthen the conservation of the coastal and marine resources based on the targeted program areas through natural resources, biodiversity conservation and fisheries resources management.
To ensure that this objective is attained and the activities be competently implemented, the PRDP-GEF Natural Resource Management (NRM) had sought assistance from RARE, Inc., a consulting firm with extensive experience in natural resources-coastal and fisheries resources management planning and plan preparation with LGUs, national government agencies and rural communities in the country.
SORSOGON CITY - They’re more than just beneficiaries. They are partners in rural development. This best describes proponent groups in this province that will benefit from proposed pili trading and processing enterprise subprojects under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) Enterprise Development (I-REAP).
The Sorsogon Pili Producers Cooperative (SPPC) in Irosin, Sorsogon, the Barcelona Development Cooperative (BADECO) in Barcelona, Sorsogon, and the Gubat St. Anthony Cooperative (GSAC) are working closely with the DA-PRDP and the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit of Sorsogon with unified goals: to boost the pili industry and raise the income of pili farmers in the province.