Rubber farmers receive free seedlings, fertilizers worth P12.9-M

Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco gives her inspirational message during the ceremonial turn-over of agri-inputs in Banisilan, North Cotabato.

BANISILAN, North Cotabato—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed seedlings and fertilizers for free to a total of 1,195 rubber farmers here to boost their productivity and income.

North Cotabato Provincial Agrarian Reform Provincial Officer Engr. Reynaldo Anfone said the agri-inputs worth P12.9 million were given in the form of seedlings and fertilizers. The agri-inputs were part of the Agricultural Production Intensification and Expansion of Agro-Forestry and Agribusiness Crops Program under the three sub-projects of the DAR Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD) Project.

“These three sub-projects include the rubber production, processing, and marketing; the coffee production, processing and marketing; and the cacao production, processing and marketing which were implemented in 15 barangays of Banisilan,” Anfone said.

In a ceremonial distribution conducted on July 22, 2020, Anfone elaborated that some 166,400 rubber seedlings; 240,000 coffee seedlings; 120,000 cacao seedlings; and 1,600 sacks of fertilizers were turned-over to different DAR-assisted organizations in Banisilan.

“We are looking forward to an additional 400 hectares for rubber, 400 hectares for coffee, and 200 hectares for cacao to be planted with these seedlings. Making an additional 1000 hectares productive, we are expecting that farmers in Banisilan will increase their productivity and income to uplift their lives from poverty,” Anfone said.

Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco who served as the guest of honor showed her support to the project and urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the interventions provided to them.

“You have to take good care of the project and sustain it because you are stewards of this project since this was entrusted to you among other potential beneficiaries in Banisilan,” Catamco said.

Catamco also reminded the beneficiaries that the project will have a greater impact on their lives if managed properly.

She also assured the farmer-beneficiaries of her full support in making their lives better together with the efforts of the local leaders and other local and national government agencies.

George Molina of Banisilan Rubber Farmers ARB Cooperative expressed his gratefulness for being chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the project.

“We are fortunate to receive the additional rubber seedlings from DAR-MinSAAD Project. More members of our cooperative will be happy to expand their production areas because of the rubber processing plant given to us by the project. We also encourage everyone to grow more rubber trees,” Molina said.

Molina also shared that they are hoping for a huge volume of rubber cup lumps to be supplied for the sustainable operation of the processing plant with the full support and interventions of the LGU, PLGU, and DAR.

“With this project, we are expecting to have a good price for our rubber products, thereby increasing the profitability and improve the quality of living of the farmers in Banisilan,” Molina said.

Anfone, Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco, and Banisilan Mayor Jesus Alisasis also led the symbolic planting of rubber, cacao, and coffee seedlings. Board Member Dulia Sultan and Alamada Mayor Jesus Sacdalan were also present during the activity.