Anyone who hears about Aurora Province can visualize images of historical landmarks, picturesque beaches, and majestic mountains. Similar to its tourism tagline, “Aurora Rising,” a dairy processing plant and marketing outlet is set to become a tourist destination in Malasin, Maria Aurora.
Joining the popular destinations in the province such as the Museo de Baler and Doña Aurora House, the Dairy Box, which is a one-stop-shop for dairy products of dairy farmers is hoped to be added to the “must-see” bucket list of tourists.
Initial works to make this possible was the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the DA-Philippine Carabao Center, the Provincial Government of Aurora, and the Cornerstone Training and Learning Center Corporation (CTLCC). The latter is a model carabao-based enterprise and a legitimate civil society organization accredited by DA.
Under the said agreement, the parties will work together to attain sustainable development objectives such as the provision of technical training and assistance at the onset of its operation, funding assistance for capability building, and formulation of policies specific for buffalo production.
Dr. Estrella Buenaventura, president of CTLCC, expects that the outlet would provide additional opportunities for the locals.
“Tatlong-taon pa lang ang aming organisasyon pero umaasa kami na mas titibay pa ang ating partnership upang dumami ang kabuhayan ng mga taga-Aurora,” she said.
Governor Gerardo Noveras also expressed his hope that the project would help alleviate if not totally eliminate the province’s malnutrition problem.
In response, DA-PCC OIC-Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo, said the project will not only increase livelihood opportunities in the province but will also aid malnutrition such as the conduct of milk feeding program. He also assured the support of the agency to the organization.
“Aalalayan namin kayo. Tutulong kami sa patuloy na pagpapaunlad ng matatag na lahing kalabaw para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”
The “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita” is the battle cry of the Department of Agriculture, led by Secretary William Dar, that aims to make smallholder Filipino farmers and fisherfolks more prosperous, with the goal of doubling their incomes.
Present to witness the MOA signing were Maria Aurora Mayor Amado Genete and Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Angelo Silvestre.
The activity is a component of the project titled Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN), popularized as Accelerating Livelihood Assets Buildup (ALAB)- Karbawan of the DA-PCC. It was funded by the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform Chairperson Senator Cynthia Villar and is geared towards providing income opportunities to farmers and progressing the carabao dairy industry.