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Mindoro farmers receive second livelihood grant from DOLE MIMAROPA

They say “love is sweeter the second time around.” But in the case of Bayotbot San Isidro Farmers Association (BASIFA), “grant is sweeter the second time around,” for it has received the amount of Two Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos (P270, 000.00), their second grant from DOLE MIMAROPA in December, 2016.

Solid and cohesive leadership and membership are the main factors that made the Bayotbot San Isidro Farmers Association (BASIFA) a successful organization until today. With an initial membership of 55 in 2009 during their registration with DOLE under Workers Association, it has now 65 farmer-members of two barangays, the Barangays Bayotbot and San Isidro in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

The association generates income initially from the incentives coming from the National Food Authority particularly the CDIF, interest of loans receivable from members of the association and fees imposed for the use of solar driers.

Year 2011 was when DOLE IV-B awarded the association an amount of P500, 000.00 intended for the establishment of 34 units of shallow-tube well. Through this project, members were able to prepare and till their land on time thus making them  produce more, not just in rice production but also other high value crops. It also supported them to construct their own office building, multi-purpose drying pavement and even purchased 1 unit of electric motor engine. For 7 years now, BASIFA has maintained its image as one of the steadfast and trustable association in the municipality.

The proponent’s strategic direction is to continuously improve the lives of its members by creating more business opportunities. Although all of its members are farmers as their primary occupation, they have various skills which they could use to venture in more opportunities and propose other livelihood projects to DOLE.

In 2016, Mr. Bernardo Fernando, the association’s president submitted another project proposal to DOLE for the “Production of Concrete Hollow Blocks”, considering the high demand of hollow blocks and other concrete materials in the locality and realizing the availability of the raw materials, the proponent has more advantage in this undertaking.

Development among farmer-beneficiaries is a slow and painstaking process.  With collective effort and unity among members, they can learn how to identify opportunities and seize them for profit. True enough, the association proved that whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, for the second time around.

End/Gener L. Francisco

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2017-02-14
ATTY ALVIN VILLAMOR

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