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Bohol farmers set up food business: serving the community, increasing food access

Four (4) years after receiving the vegetable production project from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Central Visayas, the Campamanog Carabao and Vegetable Farmer’s Association (CACAVEFA) put up a carinderia – an eatery where affordable meals, vegetable viand out of their harvest, and other home-cooked meals are served – in barangay Campamanog, President Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol.

Mrs. Melinda B. Binondo, the president of CACAVEFA and a mother who enjoys cooking, took the initiative and, with the association’s members’ support, named the business SAAD carinderia.

Having experienced an oversupply of vegetable harvests which they cannot easily sell due to tight market competition, the group chaired by Binondo decided to open an eatery using their Php 3,000 associations’ savings and cash solicitations from Sangguniang Bayan members and private individuals worth Php 4,000.

The group began operating their carinderia in barangay Campamanog on July 8, 2023. Open daily from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, both men and women members took turns cooking and managing the eatery. Prepared meals range in price from Php 5 to Php 25 per serving. As of August, CACAVEFA generated Php 24,412 gross income and saved the net revenue for the association’s fund. 


CACAVEFA became a recipient of SAAD’s Vegetable Production Project worth Php 720,277.57 in 2019, from which they first received vegetable seeds, inorganic fertilizer, vermicast, pesticides, and farming tools.

Before SAAD’s livelihood project, members of the group relied on farming and fishing as their source of income. With areas suitable for planting short-term crops, they were awarded the vegetable project alongside crop production training from the Program. During the first three (3) years of project implementation, the farmers individually grow high-value crops in their land areas. They planted ampalaya, squash, okra, upo, string beans, eggplants, sweet pepper, banana, and cucumber. To support their own families, harvests were then sold in the nearby barangays.

Strengthening their group, in 2023, they began planting vegetables in a 1,500-square-meter communal garden owned by Mrs. Binondo. After harvest, they sold the produce in their community. However, the unsold vegetables were used as recipes in their carinderia business. With this initiative, they were able to raise funds for their organization.


Since regular customers would visit their store as early as 6:00 a.m., CACAVEFA members will soon add breakfast items to their menu in addition to hot beverages with coffee and chocolate flavors. 

Additionally, the group will soon receive a basin, weighing scale, and blender to help them add value to their vegetable products. CACAVEFA farmers intend to produce banana chips, squash polvoron, and squash binangkal to sell in their neighborhood and display at annual agricultural events in Bohol. 

Despite the conclusion of SAAD Phase 1 in Central Visayas, the regional implementers are still committed to monitor the group and assist them towards establishment of sustainable community-based enterprise. ###


Writer: Jessica R. Alvero, DA-SAAD Central Visayas Information Officer 
Source: Grace C. Quisto, SAAD Bohol Area Coordinator

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