COTABATO CITY – To enhance the agro-enterprise operations of a small banana farmers’ cooperative in Arakan, North Cotabato, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has turned over a PHP600,000 hauling truck to the group, an official said Wednesday.
Charish Paña, provincial agrarian reform program officer, said Tuesday’s turnover of the hauler truck to the Arakan River Irrigators Credit Cooperative (ARICCO) was carried under the DAR’s Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets with Microfinance Project.
"We are looking forward to seeing the ARICCO collective marketing operations expand to neighboring barangays to maximize the market opportunities and boost the profitability of buying and selling Cardava bananas," Paña said in a statement.
ARICCO officials, on the other hand, thanked the DAR provincial office for the hauler truck that would help them much in transporting their harvests.
"We will no longer rent vehicles for transporting our products to the processing plant, which incurs a high operational expense for the cooperative," ARICCO chairman Bonifacio Calayco Jr. said, describing the DAR provision as a rare opportunity given them.
He said the hauling truck will mean more savings and increased income for the cooperative and can be translated into benefits for its members.
The DAR also assisted in linking ARICCO to Liberty Fruits, Inc. in Kidapawan City as the institutional buyer, where they deliver 11 tons of Cardava bananas every two weeks. (PNA)