Emy Goritte Gorra | 1 June 2021, Philippines

Agrarian reform beneficiaries and small coconut farmers in Biliran have recently ventured in social entrepreneurship by joining the Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP), a joint undertaking of the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) and DA-Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA).

Said venture commenced with the entrustment of 34 head of dairy buffaloes as seed animals to the recipient cooperative Canila Agrarian Reform (CARCO) last April 26-27 in Brgy. Canila, Biliran, Biliran.

CARCO is a small coconut farmers organization (SCFO) supported by the DA-PCA. This cooperative is composed of farmer-members who are cultivating rice and coconut.

Currently, CARCO is an active recipient of DA-PCA’s Kasaganaan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran ng Bayan (KAANIB) Projects with components that include distribution of cacao seedlings and livestock dispersal. As an active SCFO involved in DA-PCA’s KAANIB Enterprise Development Program (KEDP), CARCO was selected by DA-PCA to serve as conduit cooperative for the CCDP in Biliran.

The recipients were initially met with challenges on handling the crossbred buffaloes but with the introduction of Cara-Aralan sa Niyugan, they were gradually walked through on how to go about with the project. Cara-Aralan sa Niyugan is a blended learning modality on dairy buffalo management and production.

Chrestian Bacalla, project development officer for CCDP-Biliran, said while the farmers were initially challenged to take on the project, they were grateful of this opportunity and they are willing and committed to make their newfound venture a success.

The entrustment activity was also attended by DA-PCC’s Regional Center Operating in Eastern Visayas led by Director Francisco Gabunada, Jr, Senior Science Research Specialist Dr. Ivy Fe Lopez, Community Development Officer Renato Briones, and Farm Superintendent Andres Amihan, Jr.