The Minbahandi Higa-onon Agriculture Cooperative is an Indigenous People (IP) Cooperative registered with Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) RXIII on December 11, 2017. The cooperative is located in Sitio Minbahandi which the most far-flung Sitio of Brgy. Camagong in the Municipality of Nasipit, Province of Agusan del Norte, with an estimated distance of 20 kilometers from the barangay proper. Most of the inhabitants of the domicile are members of the Higa-onon Tribe. The tribe has been living in this remote place for about 30 years. They are no longer immune from the influence of the modern living, but still practicing their indigenous culture as part of honoring their ancestors.

The IP group is a cooperative rich in natural resources. They might have lack in terms of amenities but their asset amounting to Php 2.9 M was a good start. In addition to their share capital contribution. funds from DENR came as grants and donations. As a beneficiary of the DENR National Greening Program thousands of falcata and cacao seedlings were given to cooperative members for planting. The main business activity of the cooperative is merchandizing. The coop is selling farm inputs and supplies, and has a mini-hardware. They also buy and sell bananas and abaca. While they are planting Moluccan Albizia (Falcata trees) and Cacao trees which they will sell or process in the near future.

In the mountainous area of Minbahandi, accessibility to basic government services such water, health and sanitation is very poor. Technology, such as mobile network is unstable, and internet connectivity is zero. There is no road and the muddy trail during rainy season makes travel to the area a difficult, rigorous task.

The cooperative has been struggling for years in complying their Annual Mandatory Reports with CDA, reporting to DENR and other NGA’s supporting their cooperative/community. They also lack facilities and equipment to prepare the reports in their own efforts.

Last July 29, 2021, the newly installed CDA Chairman USEC. Joseph “Joy” Encabo together with his staff visited Region XIII CDA Office.  The Chair got invited to a transport cooperative conference in Caraga. They took the chance to visit the CDA regional office since this was the first time USEC Encabo set foot at Caraga as the new CDA Chair.

The CDA Chairman Encabo is biased to micro-cooperatives. He expressed that the micro cooperatives are the priority beneficiaries of the CDA’s programs and services.  That they should be given technical assistance to help them develop and graduate from micro to small and onwards. He even brought with him “surprise gifts” for two (2) deserving micro cooperatives he asked to meet.

Two (2) brand new laptops!

The laptop brand is HP with Core i5 processor and smooth screen touch sensor capability which is fast enough to perform even multitasking applications. This laptop will be very helpful for the micro coop in their compliance to annual documentary requirements.

One of the recipients of the new high-powered laptop is the Minbahandi Higa-onon Agriculture Coop. Minbahandi Chairperson Datu Jimbo Mansaginda together with the Coop Secretary Annie Rose Mansaginda received the new laptop personally from the Chairman. ***********