Selected staff of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) whose work functions are related to business and cooperatives and five chairmen of dairy cooperatives in PCC’s National Impact Zone (NIZ) participated in the Joint International Conference on Agribusiness and Cooperatives held October 14-17 in Davao City.
The PCC-led group comprised Alvin David of the Planning and Special Projects Division (PSPD), Zadieshar Sanchez and Jan Czarina Salas of the Business Development and Commercialization Unit, Patrizia Camille Saturno of the Central Dairy Collection and Processing Facility, Honeylyn Palileo of Milka Krem, Estella Valiente of the NIZ as well as Melchor Correa of Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (EPMPC), Leoncio Callo of Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPC), Gerardo Delos Santos of Casile Dairy Producers Cooperative (CDPC), Teody Nieva of Guiset Organic Farmers Credit Cooperative (GOFCC), and Allan Benitez of Simula ng Panibagong Bukas Producers Cooperative (SIPBU), all based within province of Nueva Ecija.
“I recommended the participation of coop chairmen and PCC staff with business and coop-related functions for them to acquire new insights on cooperative roles and performance, business strategies, and emerging industry standards,” Dr. Liza G. Battad, PSPD chief, said.
The international conference was organized by the University of the Philippines, through the joint efforts of the UP Los Baños-Institute of Cooperatives and Bio-Enterprise Development (UPLB-ICOPED), College of Economics and Management (UPLB-CEM), and the UP Mindanao School of Management (UPMin-SOM). It was held in connection with the celebration of the Centennial Year of Philippine Cooperatives this year and in cooperation with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
The event, with the theme “The Future of Agribusiness and Cooperative Enterprises: Examining Local and Global Contexts,” was composed of two co-located conferences: the 7th International Conference on Agribusiness Economics and Management (ICAEM) of UPMin-SOM and the 2nd International Conference on Cooperatives (ICOOP) of ICOPED.
According to philcoop.net, the conference was aimed at highlighting the important role of cooperatives in agribusiness and enterprise development as well as opportunities for mainstreaming cooperative enterprises in the agribusiness sector. It also sought to build and strengthen linkages among the local and international stakeholders in the field of agribusiness and cooperatives.
EPMPC chairman Correa, as representative of the smallholder farming sector during the event, shared with fellow participants the experience of how their cooperative started, and how they overcome all the trials they have encountered with the help of PCC and other government agencies.
“By the grace of God, we can overcome our problems. First we tackled the lack of market; we looked for it and looked beyond milk feeding programs. We talked to PCC and used their linkages in looking for new markets. We thanked the Lord for every new client we found. We also negotiated the price of raw milk. In fact, some of our members managed to send their children to college while some already purchased service vehicles because of dairying. Right now, we also helped fellow dairy cooperatives and associations by buying their milk,” Correa narrated.