The Mindanao-based “Don Bosco Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) together with groups of organic rice farmers and entrepreneurs is set to supply 480 metric tons of organically-grown rice to the City of Manila for its Senior Citizen-residents.
Mr. Mario Alolosan, Chairman of the Board, Don Bosco MPC said “the expected arrival of the last shipments in Manila is on or before 10 December 2021, weeks in time for the City of Manila’s Christmas Event for its senior citizen residents.”
The Don Bosco MPC-DBMPC in North Cotabato, Phoenix Larrrel Agriventures, and hundred organic farming families are thankful to the support of MinDA through its investment and marketing promotions initiatives” he added.
It can be recalled that Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso ordered 650 metric tons of black, red, and brown organically-grown rice for the city’s estimated 150,000 senior citizens last year.
The said volume of organic rice composed of Black, Brown, and Red varieties will hugely benefit the organic rice farmers and groups of the Don Bosco MPC covering production clusters in five (5) provinces in Mindanao which adapted an internal control system.
“The new volume of Mindanao organic rice purchased by the City of Manila for its senior citizen program is very helpful to the farmer-producers and cooperatives of the region. It opens an opportunity for the Don Bosco MPC to expand its organic rice initiatives beyond North Cotabato and Region 12 so that other areas in Mindanao can also avail of the markets,” Alolosan bared.
The MCT- Organic Value Chain project of MinDA and partnership with the stakeholders aim to primarily support Mindanao farmer cooperatives and groups who are suffering from the impact of fluctuating prices in the market brought about by the global health crisis, by facilitating their access to lucrative markets and institutional buyers.
“We hope that this initiative with LGU-Manila can be sustained, as well as formal partnership and agreements with other LGUs in Luzon can be forged so that we can better help uplift the lives of our farmer-producers in Mindanao with the support of the other agencies of the government such as National Organic Agriculture Board of DA and DTI North Cotabato,” Alolosan added.
He said the shipment created a huge impact on the complete value chain not only for organic rice but the general economic activities of the organic farmers, local laborers, logistics, production, and packaging, among others. The network among the smallholders’ organic rice farmers, groups, and entrepreneurs was established last September 2019 through the Mindanao Rice Forum organized by Former MinDA Chairman Sec. Emmanuel F. Piñol.
In response to the agreements of the said forum, MinDA launched a series of interventions addressing the challenges of the Mindanao Rice Industry to leverage and sustain the market. Among these are the stringent documentation requirements for a 3rd party organic certification, hefty cost of certification and compliance especially in the establishment of the Internal Control System and other farm investments, and the constraints across the organic rice value chain in obtaining the required scale, quality, and traceability. (PR)