The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is pushing for the creation of a farmers’ federation that will help run the rice processing complex (RPC) in Matanao, Davao del Sur as well as establish other similar facilities in other parts of the region.
DA Regional Director Ricardo M. Oñate said last week that creating a federation that will help run the RPC will allow rice farmers to put value on their produce as they can start selling at better prices even as he urged them to join cooperatives.
The RPC is a facility with state-of-the-art equipment which would make rice production, milling, drying, and storage more efficient. Farmers can sell their palay in this facility and the facility would be in charge of milling the palay into rice to be sold on the market.
The agency is encouraging farm cooperatives in the province to join the Davao del Sur Federation of Marketing Cooperative, the cooperative that runs the RPC, as they will be provided with incentives for selling their produce to the complex.
RPC officer-in-charge Pete Capangpangan said farmers who are members of DA-accredited cooperative can receive 20 cents per kilo as privilege price in addition to the prevailing price in their area. Moreover, if the palay is going to be delivered to the RPC by the farmers themselves, they would be receiving another 20 cents per kilo trucking incentive.
Once sold to the RPC, the palay would be milled and sold to institutional markets such as food chains, restaurants, cooperatives, and banks.
Capangpangan said that farmers whose cooperatives are members of DASUFEMCO can receive a percentage of the profits through patronage refund and the primary cooperative where they belong is entitled to interest on their capital share.
At present, the DA XI is encouraging people to patronize local rice through the “Buy Local, Eat Local” campaign. They are also meeting with local chief executives in the country for the establishment of local rice enterprise in order to empower these local farmers.