The Simula ng Panibagong Bukas Multipurpose Cooperative (SIPBU MPC) in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija has taken its dairy enterprise to the next level, as it will soon have its own processing facility for value-added dairy products.
This was after the co-op signed, today, August 12, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agrarian Reform-Nueva Ecija Provincial Office (DARPO), DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), LGU-San Jose City, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the Enhancement of the Dairy Processing Center under the DAR’s Village Level Farm-Focused Enterprise Development Project.
Said project aims to establish viable and profitable enterprises and facilitate access to mainstream markets, allowing the participation of smallholder farmers and other members of the community in various livelihood opportunities within the dairy value chain.
The co-op’s collection center will be upgraded to a two-story structure for the processing and production of different milk products, including the Karabun, a nutrient-rich bread made with fresh carabao’s milk. Such development is one of the SIPBU MPC’s strategic plans to diversify revenue streams through value-added products.
As stipulated in the MOA, the SIPBU MPC, DARPO, and LGU San Jose City shall chip in PHP1.8M, PHP300,000, and PHP700,000, respectively, for the construction of the processing center.
The DA-PCC, on the other hand, will provide necessary training and technical support on carabao health and dairy production management, record keeping, milk quality, and product development. It will also assist in establishing a dairy processing center, a Karabun production facility, and marketing strategies.
The DTI will provide, among others, technical and extension assistance in the improvement of the processing facility through the provision of processing equipment or shared service facility. Meanwhile, the DOST will provide technical assistance in the acquisition of a license to operate (LTO), crafting the Good Manufacturing Practices manual by providing a series of training, product laboratory testing for nutrition facts and shelf life analysis, and technology consultancy.
“The project can bring livelihood and income opportunities to 78 family members of the cooperative. The co-op’s current supply of at least 350 liters of milk production daily is sold only as raw milk, which has a lower value. With the help of the facility, the farmers can produce quality products and earn more profit,” Joel Cabading, DA-PCC’s OIC section head of the Carabao-based Enterprise Development, said.
SIPBU MPC chairperson Freddie Carlos accepted the challenge and vowed to do their part for the project to pan out. The facility, he said, would help them satisfy the milk demand of the National Feeding Program.
“Lubos po kaming nagpapasalamat sa DAR, LGU, DTI, at DOST sa walang sawang pagsuporta gayundin sa DA-PCC sa patuloy na paglinang sa aming kakayahan upang mapagtagumpayan ang negosyong salig sa kalabaw,” Carlos expressed.