Various farmer organizations have reaped the fruits of their labor as recipients of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation program (F2C2) here in Camarines Sur.
One of these is the Cabusao, Libmanan, Lupi, Sipocot (CLLS) Federation of High-Value Crops Growers, Inc., DA’s pilot F2C2 farm cluster for High-Value Crops (HVC).
(CLLS) Federation of High-Value Crops Growers, Inc. President Robert S. Buayaban said that DA is instrumental in establishing their consolidation area which made their work as farmers much easier and more convenient. He added that the technical assistance, inputs, and marketing support made them survive the challenges brought by the pandemic.
Buayan, together with the federation’s members are present during the Visit and Orientation at Agri-Village and Trading Post of CLLS Federation of High-Value Crops Growers Inc. held on April 11, Monday at Brgy. Sigamot, Libmanan, Camarines Sur.
The said activity marks the opening of the High-Value Crops Week (HVC) 2022 with the theme “Farm Diversification With High-Value Crops: Key to Recovery and Sustained Growth.”
In a press statement, DA-Bicol Field Operations Divisions Chief and Regional HVCDP Coordinator Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez stated that the inspiration brought by the story of the CLLS Federation of High-Value Crops Growers Inc.’s success story has also inspired other HVC growers.
“From organizing the federation to production and now, the marketing aspect, we can say that we have almost completed the value chain. You are our inspiration,” Rodriguez said.
In May of 2020, 17 farmer organizations composed of more or less 538 farmers from the municipalities of Cabusao, Libmanan, Lupi and Sipocot joined the DA’s High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP). They agreed to have their small vegetable farms to be consolidated. In return, DA gave them assorted vegetable seeds and helped them with their technical inputs, including marketing support.
The farm cluster then engaged in a collective effort to ensure that their agri- products are well-maintained and the technology taught by DA is applied to their crops and farming system.
“Since the soft opening of our Agri-Village and Trading post on March 21 until April 9, we have already generated a total sale of P1.8M from the sales of our assorted fruits and vegetables coming from the farm cluster members. Buyers are not only from Camarines Sur but came as far as Camarines Norte, Libmanan, Naga City and Sariaya, Quezon,” Buayaban added.
The clustering or consolidation of small commercial farmers is in line with DA Secretary William Dar’s directive to “attain economies of scale, particularly for crops that require mechanization and use of technology. Farm consolidation, he said, will make farming more efficient, reduce the cost of production and increase farm productivity.
(Source: DA Region 5)