Success Story: Cabugao First Farmers Consumers Cooperative (CAFIFACOCO)

Barangay Cabugo is one of the ARC barangay of the municipality of Bacuag known to be CLAGIBAPLA ARC III with vast tracts of agricultural land where farming is the major source of income of the household. Another source of their income is from off farm which is nipa sap. Usually, the farmers sell their nipa sap harvest directly to individual costumers and stores but presently they deliver it to Cabugo First Farmers Consumers Cooperative (CAFIFACOCO). This is where it is processed as nipa sap vinegar which became CAFIFACOCO’s pride, a so called village level processing center enhancement project of the barangay.
Among the people’s organizations in Bacuag CAFIFACOCO is the most stable with legal personality and had an OMAR rating of Level 4. The coop officers and members are responsible for whatever assistance they receive. This cooperative is organized by DAR and assisted by other agencies like DTI, DOST, DOLE, DENR, DA and the NGO called SUNGCOD. The provincial Government of Surigao del Norte and the LGU also extend support and assistance to CAFIFACOCO and its vinegar project due to its multi-economic activities.
This enterprise falls on One Town, One Product (OTOP) of the municipality of Bacuag because of its goal to improve their local vinegar industry. Thru OTOP the LGU was able to identify existing products that has strong competitive advantage in terms of market and when developed would catalyze the local economy towards more employment and investment opportunities.
The availability of nipa palm in the municipality of Bacuag and nearby municipalities like Gigaquit and Claver of the province of Surigao del Norte has contributed to the production of nipa based products such as nipa sap which is the raw material in vinegar processing. The gathering of nipa sap from nipa palm has been practiced for a very long time and has been sustained because of its contribution to family income. The nipa saps are processed into vinegar and this is one of the enterprises identified by Cabugao First Farmer Consumers Cooperative.
Their product has been awarded as “Best in Packaging Product” during the National Trade Fair held in Manila in the year 2010, conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform Central Office. It is also under the OTOP (one Town One product) program of the local government unit of Bacuag making it their flagship product. It was also promoted by in several trade fairs (Provincial, Regional and National) by selling it to the market and displaying it to Surigao’s Best Center and other outlets. As to quality and packaging, it is 100% excellent; however, there is no license yet from BFAD.
CAFIFACOCO identifies vinegar processing as their enterprise because of availability of resources in the locality. The business enterprise is in existence but needs to be improved or enhanced in preparation for BFAD application permit. Consumers/customers are more interested and confident to buy if the product undergoes and passed BFAD examination and much more if it will be granted with permit or license to use bar code in the packaging aspect.
Their product is also organic and has a high probability rate to sustain because of the following reason: abundant supply of raw materials, immediate members of the cooperative are the suppliers of nipa sap to the coop, available market outlet, and there is no competition within the province. This due to the fact that the venture is pioneer in status that is why many line agencies assisted the cooperative in operating this business enterprise.
At present, the cooperative (CAFIFACOCO) has their own lot and building. However, the processing building needs to be improved since BFAD has a required design, but it does not hinder the vinegar productions and sales. For the past twelve months the operation yield a net cash inflow at about P 154,332.84 and the coop projected to have a net cash inflow of P759, 186.69 on the fifth year’s operation.