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14 newly-established Central Luzon FAs undergo social preparation

TARLAC, April 12, 2023 – In the goal to make farmers realize the advantages and strengths of organizing as a group, the Department of Agriculture- Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Central Luzon conducted benchmarking and knowledge management to members of 14 newly established Farmers’ Associations (FAs) in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac on March 9, 2023.

The FAs visited cooperatives in the municipalities of La Paz, Gerona, and San Manuel together with the SAAD implementers and other members of the Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) of San Clemente, Tarlac to demonstrate the advantages of organizing and collectively working to become a cooperative. Formation of farmer groups gives members access to other parallel support, not limited to the DA, as well as the capacity to progress as cooperatives.

Table 1. 14 newly established Central Luzon FAs

“Kami pong team ng Tarlac at team ng Nueva Ecija ay umaasa na bawat isang FA na beneficiary ng SAAD ngayon ay magkaroon ng successful story. Nakasalalay po sa inyo iyon, kaya ipakikita po namin ang mga ibang ideas na maaari nating mapulot sa mga existing at successful FAs,” Provincial Coordinator, Ariel de Guzman, underlined. 

(We, the team of Tarlac and the team of Nueva Ecija, are hoping that every FA beneficiary of SAAD today will have a successful story. It depends on you [farmers]. We will share with you other ideas that we can gather from existing and successful FAs.)

Chairperson of the Pagbiagan Multi-purpose Cooperative (PMPC) of San Manuel, Tarlac, Eulogio V. Cabiles shared with the 14 FAs how it is typical to experience misunderstanding among members, however, FA must remain strong to overcome it. 

“Napagdaanan namin ang iba’t ibang problema, andiyang hindi nagkasundo ang mga miyembro, ngunit sa kabila noon, nanatili pong matatag ang aming samahan at umabot pa kami ng 18 years” (We have been through various problems, and the members have some misunderstanding, but despite that, our organization has remained strong that we reached 18 years in service), Cabiles said.

“Maging transparent po kayo sa inyong mga miyembro, yan po ang unang una na dapat po ninyong gawin” (Be transparent with your members, that’s the first thing you have to do), added Sonie Romero, Manager of the said cooperative.

Corn has been the primary commodity of the model Farmers Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) – Pagbiagan Multi-purpose Cooperative (PMPC) – that brought about Php 7 million annual net income as an exclusive corn supplier to an animal feed company.The success of PMPC is just one of the many testimonies that as long as there is eagerness in learning, the goal of establishing a self-sustaining community is certain.

Rizal Livelihood Farmers’ Association chairperson, Charlie Dela Cruz, shared that they find the benchmarking activity helpful, they get to learn lessons from other FCAs on how to handle organizational conflict that normally occur in an organization.

Moving ahead

Relative to social preparation SAAD Central Luzon undertaking, the FAs are set to have capacity training on growing and improving their organization on April 13, 2023, to further discuss capacity-building strategies, organizational effectiveness, managerial skills, and organizational responsibilities.###

Writer: Gennadiy C. Duque, DA-SAAD Central Luzon Information Officer

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