Billionaire co-op in Mindanao inks partnership with DA-PCC for ALAB Karbawan project

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC at CMU) formally signs agreement with Oro Integrated Cooperative (OIC) in Cagayan de Oro City as the agency’s conduit cooperative for the ALAB Karbawan Project.

DA-PCC at CMU Center Director Dr. Lowell Paraguas, Chairperson of the OIC Board of Directors (BOD) Doris Calapiz and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OIC Floriano Hilot signed a Memorandum of Understanding on July 31, 2020.

ALAB Karbawan stands for Accelerating Livelihood and Assets Buildup while “Karbawan” is a Visayas and Mindanao term meaning buffalo production and management.

The project aims to establish a robust Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) in 16 provinces for 2019 and 11 for 2020 in the Philippines through the sponsorship of Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairperson Senator Cynthia Villar. A budget of Php10 million is allocated for each of the provinces.

Under the DA-PCC at CMU’s ALAB Karbawan, one project site was identified in Misamis Oriental for 2019 with Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano as the focal person and two in Bukidnon for 2020 with 1st District Representative Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba and 4th District Representative Rogelio Neil Roque as the focal persons.

According to Dr. Paraguas, the DA-PCC at CMU will lead the conduct of learning events for farmers and carapreneurs that are set to make them more competitive in dairying and thus will generally improve the state of the local dairy industry in the region.

“Hopefully, through meaningful collaborations and strong partnerships, this project will pan out,” Dr. Paraguas said.

Dr. Paraguas emphasized the agency and co-op will closely cooperate with local government units and other partners to ensure that the assets will be used to improve the livelihood of value chain players through herd build up, milk collection, processing and marketing of locally-produced milk products.

“It’s a blessing for us to engage in this project with the DA-PCC. We are looking forward to opportunities that will benefit our farmers such as this project, which is very much aligned with the mission of changing the lives of our members and communities,” Hilot said.

Meanwhile, Calapiz anticipates a significant increase in the income of their members and that soon nutritious, fresh and affordable carabao-based dairy products will be available to more consumers.

Also present during the signing were the OIC’s branch managers and key staff of DA-PCC at CMU.