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Gov’t officials, KOICA, GGGI break grounds for the 4 MSMEs facilities in OrMin

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro (PIA) -- Officials of the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently led the groundbreaking ceremonies for four Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) facilities located in municipalities of San Teodoro, Victoria, Gloria and Bulalacao together with the representaties of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

According to Alessandra ‘Apples’ Jalandoni of GGGI, the project construction costing P30 million will kick-off later this year for MSMEs facilities which are expected to boost the province's top agricultural products such as calamansi, banana, coconut and seaweed.

The projects that broke ground are the Calamansi Processing Facility for the Pakyas Rural Improvement Club (PARIC) in Victoria, Coconut Processing Facility for the Bigaan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (BARCO) in San Teodoro, Banana Processing Facility for the Malubay Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (MARBA) in Gloria, and Seaweeds Processing Facility for the Samahang Manggagawa sa Balatasan (SAMASABALATASAN) in Bulalacao.

Implemented by GGGI and funded by Korean government through KOICA, the MSMEs facilities are part of a 4-year US $5 million (P294-million) Climate Resilient and Inclusive Agricultural Value Chain project that will strengthen the province's farmers cooperatives by capacitating them while expanding markets for their products.

KOICA Philippine Country Director Eunsub Kim said KOICA has a long history of supporting development projects aimed at achieving sustained poverty reduction in emerging economies.  He said agriculture is one of the priority areas of the Korean government for its official development assistance cooperation with the Philippines.

Kim stressed that Oriental Mindoro will benefit from the agri-value chain enhancement of its four major crops and has a high potential to catalyze sustainable growth in the region.

On the other hand, Jalandoni in a phone interview said each upgraded agri coop facility will be a 100-square meter, single story modern structure, partly powered by solar energy. The facilities will also be equipped with food processing machines to enable farmer-entrepreneurs to manufacture their crops into high-value processed food products.

Moreover, the project will not only provide farmers with new food processing plants, but will also equip them with the necessary skills to operate and grow sustainable micro-enterprises. The goal is for the entire operation to be Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-certified so there is a need for constant supervision by a competent food technologist or quality assurance officer, Jalandoni said.

GGGI Philippine Country Representative Juhern Kim said FDA accreditation will be transformational as it will change the scope of the potential market coverage of these MSMEs.

DTI Mimaropa Regional Director Joel Valera emphasizes that DTI prioritizes is to help MSMEs in visualizing and expanding their businesses with the intervention from the government.

When they are able to sell their agricultural products in larger, more reputable establishments, it will generate higher incomes for smallholder farmers and coop members and even create more local jobs, Juhern Kim further said.

Prior to the construction of the MSMEs facilities, GGGI together with its development partner Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) reached out to potential buyers and identified the kinds of processed products that would be generated by these cooperatives, following a market-driven approach to generate impact for farmer-beneficiaries.

Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor welcomed the financial and technical assistance to the province's farmer cooperatives wherein 9,600 people associated with them will be directly benefited from this project. And the revenue of these cooperatives is expected to grow 40% compared to the baseline after this project, which will thus generate local job creation based on the assessment of GGGI.

Dubbed as the 'food basket' of the Mimaropa region, the province boasts of fertile lands and abundant water that supports agriculture. However, climate impacts have rendered farmlands and agri-infrastructures highly vulnerable according to GGGI. 

"We are grateful to GGGI and KOICA for investing in our farmers and micro-entrepreneurs. Our long-term goal for Oriental Mindoro is to be known as a producer of high-quality agricultural products which can compete in the global marketplace," Dolor said in an interview conducted by GGGI.

Dolor also pointed out that, despite being the 'Calamansi King' as the province is one of largest producers of calamansi fruit in the country, farmers still struggle to fully utilize these raw materials and thus many go to waste. But with this infrastructural renovation, calamansi cooperatives would now be able to process their calamansi fruit into various food products.

GGGI Philippines Country Representative Juhern Kim explains the significance of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accreditation as it will help change the scope of the potential market coverage of the MSMEs in the province of Oriental Mindoro.
Sample products of MSMEs in the province of Oriental Mindoro

The governor reiterated the province's commitment to provide a safe and favorable environment for small businesses to thrive, championing policies which promote ease of doing business. (AJ-GGGI/LTC/PIA-OrMin)

About the Author

Luis Cueto, Ph.D.


Region 4B

OIC, Regional Head 
Philippine Information Agency
Oriental Mindoro Information Center
2/F George Teng Bldg., corner Gozar & J.P. Rizal Sts., Camilmil, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, PH 5200

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