Farmers to run food processing center in Northern Samar

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently turned over a food processing center for women farmers in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar.

The project is expected to benefit the members of the Samahan ng Kababaihan sa Barangay (SAMAKABA) who are into food processing.

Aside from turmeric, the group based in Barangay Bonifacio also sells taro chips and pickled papaya, says DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu who led the turnover of the food processing center during a simple ceremony recently.

The SAMAKABA is a recipient of the Village Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) project that aims to enhance the products of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) using appropriate facilities and equipment applicable to the agri-business enterprise of the ARBs.

In his brief speech, Yu said the project would increase the community’s income.

“This is one of the support services of DAR, and we are not only concerned with the production of goods but also with the value added to the products. Through processing and packaging, we can sell these products at reasonable prices and increase our profit in return.”

He also said in a statement that the department organizes the community, establishes linkages to different agencies, and assists in the packaging, and marketing of the products to reach more consumers.

Chief Agrarian Reform Officer Melecia Ong said the processing center needs to undergo the Food and Drug and the Land Transportation Office (FDA-LTO) registration process to ensure that products will reach more markets.

“For now, since the facility still needs furnishing and additional equipment, the members should prioritize cultivating raw materials. So that once the processing center is fully operational, there will be more orders and purchases to make,” Ong said.

SAMAKABA President Marivic Sardinia extended her gratitude to the DAR and partner agencies for their assistance. She cited the humble beginning of the organization when they started by collecting recycled materials back then, and now have established a profitable business with the help of the partner agencies.

“We are grateful to the partner agencies for all their help, without which, we would not be able to have this facility. We will always need your assistance to achieve our goals in the organization. This facility will not go to waste because we will ensure the proper use of this project.”