PILI, CAMARINES SUR –  “Napakalakingtulong ng Rice Processing Centers (RPC) naibinigay ng Department of Agriculture saamingkooperatibadahilsatulong ng mga dryers at warehouses nakasama ng RPC ay nakakaya naming bumili ng fresh palaysamgamagsasakasapresyong P14.00,” AnnielenPanerio, General Manager of the Camarines Sur Multipurpose Coop said.

The CamSur Multi-purpose Cooperative (CMPC), based in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur is one of the recipients of DA’s 37 Rice Processing Centers established all over rice producing areas of Bicol region.

The coop is currently operating two units of  RPC 1. The first RPC is situated in Minalabac, Camarines Sur and was turned over to them in 2016 together  and P1M  working capital. The second RPC 1 recently turned over by DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla and RAED Chief Engr. Nilda Albano to the coop is located in Pinit,  Ocampo, Camarines Sur.

The P6 million-worth RPCs have 1 set multipass rice mill with minimum output capacity of 1 ton/hour milled rice; one 300 square meter warehouse and weighing scale.

Rice Processing Centers were established to reduce rice quality deterioration and post-harvest losses by providing farmers with access to efficient drying and milling facilities to help raise their income.

The coop started their rice milling operation and palay buying from farmers in 2016. In that year the coop purchased P10.6 million from farmers and sold dried palay worth P4.1 Million and milled rice worth P10.4 million. In 2017, the coop started supplying rice to the 4Ps beneficiaries  of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who are members of the coop in 10 municipalities of Camarines Sur. In the same year, the CMPC purchased  P29.8 million worth of paddy palay from farmers. It has also sold dried palay worth P13.3 million and milled rice worth P28.1 million in partnership with other RPCs.  In 2018, the CMPC has procured P16.1 million worth of palay from farmers and sold palay worth P4.4 million as well as P31.9 million milled rice. In 2019, the coop purchased P7.4 million palay but the sales of palay and well milled rice plummeted to P1.8 million and P7.3 million respectively. Panerio   said  that their sales has been affected partly by the influx of  imported rice in the market in 2019 and when the DSWD stopped requiring Official Receipts from the 4Ps beneficiaries as proof that part of the cash grant they received was used to buy rice for their rice subsidy.

The coop’s palay trading bounced back during the pandemic in the first half of 2020. During the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the CMPC supplied  31,000 bags of rice worth P62.3 million and P3.4 million worth of vegetables and fruits to LGUs and other government agencies  for their relief assistance.

The coop has also been a very active operator of Kadiwani Ani at Kita on Wheels, DA’s program under Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra Covid-19 program. The CMPC has bought the produce of their farmer members and sold them to different communities in the Bicol Region. Starting March 2020 until October 8, 2020 the CMPC has sold a total of P48.9 million worth agricultural commodities.

Starting mid-September this year, the coop bought 14,200 bags fresh palay from farmer members and even non-members in the municipalities of Pili, Baao, Bato, Ocampo, Minalabac, Milaor, Gainza, San Fernando and Libmanan, all in Camarines Sur at price ranging from P13.00 to P14.00 per kilo.

As of September 30, 2020, the CMPC has purchased P9.6 Million worth of palay from farmers and sold P677,000 worth of dried palay, plus P62.3 million worth of milled rice.

The coop also earned income from various services such as drying, milling, and farm machinery rental. From 2014 to 2020, the CMPC earned an aggregate income of P8.5 Million from all these services.

Aside from the RPCs the Cam. Sur MPC has  received various interventions from DA regional office in Bicol from 2013 to 2018 totalling P30.2 million. These included 2 warehouses; 3 flatbed dryers; mobile recirculating dryer and recirculating dryer; combine harvesters (35hp and 60hp); 2 hand tractors with trailer; 3 units mini 4WD tractor; seed spreader; walk behind transplanter; and 2 multi-purpose drying pavement. In 2019 and 2020, the CMPC also received 1 warehouse worth P4.9 M and 1 unit combine harvester P2 M and recirculating dryer worth P2.4M respectively.

Aside from palay trading, the coop also provides economic services such as time deposits and savings deposit; and lending services. Panerio said that as of September 2020 the CMPC has P25.6 million loan exposures to farmers who availed of cash loans or farm input loan at 3% per month interest. For a 1-hectare farm, a farmer member can avail of maximum of P25,000 loan which will be paid with palay during harvest time. Farmer borrowers also have the option to sell their produce to NFA or other private buyer and pay their loans in cash.

Panerio was also thankful to the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and DA –Agribusiness Marketing and  Assistance Division in Bicol led by Adelina A. Losa for the P10 M interest free working capital loan granted to the CMPC in April 2020 under the Expanded SURE AID program. “Nakabilipo kami ng mga bigas hindi langsa Cam. Sur kundi sa iba pang mga probinsya tulad ng Albay, Sorsogon at Camarines Norte,” added Panerio.

“Akala namin ay magiging threat sa aming business ang pandemic dahil magsasara ang aming operations. Fortunately, ang laki palang opportunity lalo na sa agriculture and agribusiness sectors kase magsara man ang ibang ng negosyo, ang pagkain o pagsasaka ay mananatili,” Panerio enthused.

“Sa mgamagsasaka, patuloy po tayong magtanim, mas galingan at sipagan pa po natin. Alamin ang mga teknolohiya sa pagsasaka. Maraming ibinabahagi ang DA at ATI na tulong para mas umangat ang ating ani at lumiit ang gastos,” Panerio urged the farmers.

Organized in March 2000, and registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on May 26, 2000, the CMPC has P180.3 million assets as of December 2019 and net surplus of P2.6 Million. It has 33 full time staff and hire additional 10 laborers for each of the two RPCs during harvest time.

As of August 2020, the CMPC has 2,475 members composed of 1,672 females and 803 males. Some 1,403 members are rice farmers cultivating 1,666 hectares rice areas; 221 members are corn farmers tilling 322 hectares corn areas; and 609 members are micro and small entrepreneurs.

The coop has also received numerous awards, namely: Outstanding Primary Coop in Bicol Large Scale category (3rd place) CY 2019,; Outstanding Coop in the Region Medium Type category for CY 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013; Most Outstanding Agricultural Cooperative in the Bicol Region and Citation on Social and Community Development from Cooperative Development Authority last August 19, 2018. Outstanding Cooperative in Agriculture 2018 from Tofarm Foundation and Universal harvester Inc as Silver Partner on Kabalikat ng Magsasaka Award last October 2018; Best Performing Cooperative by Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Halyao Awards 2014; Top CCT conduit in 2014; and Most Outstanding Coop (3rd place in national level) in 2012; and National awardee for Gawad Parangal 2011;  (Lovella P. Guarin – DA RAFIS 5 / photo credit: Camsur multi-purpose cooperative FB )